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Poll: Is Tourism On The Foreshores Of Harties Dam A Good Or A Bad Thing?
It has become quite clear that the issue regarding tourism is extremely sensitive and when you say “tourist”, different people imagine different things...
Our Harties community needs to consider the issues surrounding tourism and voice their various opinions in this regard.
(PS: read the quote in the picture before you begin)
This is as good a starting point as any to get the debate going in a sensible direction.
There are various boat clubs around the dam which make provision to a variable extent for tourists other than Club members. Some Clubs allow commercial boating, others not. All of the clubs seem to allow day tourists at a fee with a daily limit of tourists that can be allowed. A striking fact is that the vast majority all of the foreshores giving organized public access are on the eastern side of the dam, with the western side of Hartbeespoort Dam basically consisting of private estates with two major sections of foreshore managed by the department of Public Works.
To list the main organized public access facilities under ownership of the department of Water Affairs:
(Mainly on the Eastern side of the dam wall)
Senior Citizens Angling and Bird Club
Ifafi Aquatic Club
Kosmos Boat Club (western side)
The Snake and Animal Park is a privately owned facility giving access to the general public.
The following large sections of foreshore are currently under ownership of the department of Public Works:
(On the Western side of the dam wall)
From the above public access seems to concentrate on the Eastern side of the dam wall. The main reason seems to be that access to the foreshores on the western side are mainly within private estates not open to the public. Furthermore – there have been strong efforts in the past to develop Kommandonek and Oberon with indications of some political involvement. These forces still remain to an extent. Should these forces be successful in future, public access to the western side of dam will be very restricted.
Now – you as the residents of Hartbeespoort can have a say:
Poll: State with which statement you agree the most?
a) Tourism on our foreshores is bad for Hartbeespoort.
Public access and commercial boating should not be allowed on our government controlled foreshores. The general public may become club members to gain access to our dam’s recreational facilities. In a normalized municipal environment tourism will add little to our general services and beautification on the long run. Recreational activities on the dam are for local residents and club members only.
b) Tourism on our foreshores is an important input to our local economy, but should be balanced with the rights of our residents.
In a normalized municipal environment a healthy tourism industry should make for a reason to give improved attention and funding towards to our services, town house keeping and beautification. The values of tourism should, however, be balanced with the rights of the residents and rules should be made and enforced to protect the rights of the latter.
c) Tourism on our foreshores is so important to our local economy that the residents must just live with it.
The government should allow free market principles to reign with little or no involvement to regulate tourism. Residents should accept the periodic influx of tourists as part of the price to stay next to a key national tourist attraction.
If you do not agree with any of the statements above, please feel free to give your opinion below on what the solution should be...