At the time of NEAG’s genesis (late 1992), Noordhoek was up in arms about the imminent opening of the Serina Kaolin Mine on Chapman’s Peak. At the same time there was an almost constant din of chainsaws from a massive alien-clearing operation on De Goede Hoop Estate. A few Noordhoek residents, led by one Massimo Cecconi, held a public meeting at the Red Herring, and within a few weeks further meetings led to the formation of what was then called the Noordhoek Environment Awareness Group. Although the acronym NEAG remained, in 1995 we renamed ourselves the Noordhoek Environmental Action Group when we realized that (in the words of founder member Cecil Whiteman) “awareness without action is sterile”.
The mine went ahead, but thanks to the Save Chapman’s Peak Committee (with the late Ian Brownlie at the helm) and many other committed people (some of whom remained with NEAG), Noordhoek ended up with what the management of the kaolin company called “the most environmentally friendly mine in the world”. Well, maybe – but it was certainly a lot better than it would have been and the exercise helped NEAG to cut its “action teeth”.
Since then NEAG has worked with local individuals and organisations to try to protect the environment that makes Noordhoek the special place it is. Since 1992 we have been involved in far too many matters to describe here, but many of the most important are not obvious to the public because they involve studying development plan, cooperating with other civic organisations, going to meetings, haranguing officials and writing comments and objections. These actions may not always be completely effective, but they do make a big difference! We all have to stand up for the world we want to live in!
- NEAG has an AGM in February each year where members can nominate an executive committee.
- The Executive runs NEAG.
- Executive meetings are held monthly, usually on the first Monday of the month.
- A Special General Meetings is held if there is an urgent matter that needs full membership participation.
- Executive members are expected to take on a Portfolio.
- Non-Executive Members are encouraged to run with their pet projects which can be carried out under the auspices of NEAG and with the support of the Exco.
- Specific matters may be assigned to an exco member but are discussed by the full Exco.