The residents of Blikkiesdorp have been working on a yearlong campaign to gain access to information about the City of Cape Town and the Airport Company South Africa’s plans for their relocation.
The Blikkiesdorp community is made up of people that were previously moved to the area by the City of Cape Town as a temporary housing solution: however they have now discovered that the City of Cape Town has further plans to move them and yet none of the members of the community had been consulted or informed of these plans despite it being their right to know if they are to be relocated.
A large aspect of the Blikkiesdorp community’s concerns are the plans between the City of Cape Town and the Cape Town Airport to expand and improve the airport runways. With ODAC’s help, the Blikkiesdorp Leaders (the Blikkiesdorp community’s elected representatives) learned of a public meeting about the development plans for Cape Town’s Airport, and while attending that meeting discovered that while an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was being conducted, the Blikkiesdorp community had not been taken into account in this report as they were thought to be moving any way.
ACSA had made plans to move sections of the community, starting with the Freedom Farm residents as they were in the way of the new runway.
The community called for transparency of the plans and for the release of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City of Cape Town and the Airport – it was this pressure that resulted in the approval of the release of the MOA by the major of Cape Town.
The MOA sets out the plan for the development of alternative accommodation for the residents – but there seems to be no plan to deal with the increase in noise from airport – which will exceed international guidelines and will affect over 387 000 people and 177 schools.
An additional problem with the plans in the MOA is that the City of Cape Town intends to move the residents to an area that will still be affected by the high levels of noise. Through their campaign to gain access to information and greater government transparency, the community now knows what the City’s plans for their future. But they still do not know when they will be moved, and how they will be affected by the noise from the airport.
To see what areas will be affected fill in your address or drop a pin on your location:
Noise and the way it is experienced is very subjective, and while the overall community attitude about a noise level is usually what is reported, some individuals will be much more sensitive, and others much less sensitive to the sound in question.
The effects of nose exposure:
Noise exposure has been known to induce tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction, and other cardio vascular effects. Beyond these effects, elevated noise levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors.
The most significant causes are vehicle and aircraft noise, prolonged exposure to loud music and industrial noise. Research into the effects of noise have been extended beyond auditory effects to include non-auditory health consequences. Hypertension is the most biologically plausible effect of noise exposure and noise seems to cause a number of the biochemical and physiological reactions, including temporary elevation of blood pressure, which can be associated with other environmental stresses.
To find out more about Blikkiesdorp watch the documentary here: Is Blikkies home? A documentary about transparency and access to information
(Development credt: The Airport Noise app was developed by Code4SA. Click here to find out more about the Code4SA organisation.)