Proposed Gautrain stations in Randburg CBD and Northgate may have minimal environmental impact – Randburg Sun

A full environmental impact assessment has not yet been done for phase 1 of the proposed Gauteng Rapid Rail Integrated Network Extension (GRRINN).
This is a legal requirement in terms of the Gauteng Transport Infrastructure Act, 2001 (Act No. 8 of 2001) and entails further consultation with all interested and affected parties.
However, a 46-page environmental screening report was conducted by the Gautrain Management Agency, and it had a number of conclusions and recommendations.
 

The proposed Little Falls Station crosses the most ‘critical biodiversity areas (important area and ecological support area) [32.13 per cent and 12.74 per cent]. The proposed station also impacts on the highest amount of natural area in terms of grassland (35.44 per cent)’, out of the three proposed stations.
The report advised, “An in-situ ecological assessment will thus be required to determine if any protected species are prevalent within the assessed footprint and 300m buffer in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (No.10 of 2004): Threatened or Protected Species Regulations.”
It continued, “An assessment by the relevant specialists at the appropriate time in this process of the potential impact on the visual character of the area or the increase in noise, traffic and dust volumes will be required.”
The Cosmo City Station in Northgate, however, traverses a minimal percentage (4.59 per cent) of critical biodiversity areas and their buffer zone, and will not affect other conservation areas, according to the report.
This station will be on ground level too, and earth-moving activities can be localised, the report said. Still, an assessment of the noise, traffic and dust volumes will be required.
Of the three stations, Randburg Station, will be situated underground and the report claimed it will not impact critical biodiversity areas.
However, this station will require more earthwork activities. “[This] may result in a greater residual risk to the presence of in-situ species of biodiversity importance. An ecological assessment will, therefore, be required to determine if any protected species are prevalent within the assessed 300m buffer in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (No.10 of 2004): Threatened or Protected Species Regulations.”
The report said, in general, environmental impact from this station will be minimal because of the already built-up nature of the area. “This does not negate the need for an assessment by the relevant specialists at the appropriate time in this process of the potential impact on the visual character of the area or the increase in noise, traffic and dust volumes.”
More information about this new route network can be found here 
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