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Moosa makes 4x4 fans see red

2002-11-14 10:04

Dries Liebenberg

So said Les Cox, chairperson of one of the biggest 4x4 clubs in the country - the Cartoria 4x4 Toyota club.

He said Moosa created the impression in parliament on Monday that all 4x4 owners in the country were scoundrels.

In the debate on the amendment bill on national environmental management in the National Assembly, Moosa said a message should be sent to those who paid no attention to the environment and insisted on their right to drive in sensitive areas.

The amendment bill was a move to plug a technical loophole regarding the regulations of a 4x4 ban on beaches.

The ban, which came into effect at the beginning of the year, evoked heated reactions from 4x4 owners.

The 4x4 boycott and threatening economic ruin spurred groups in the KwaZulu-Natal holiday town of St Lucia to apply to the Pretoria High Court for the ban be put aside. Judgment has been reserved.

Moosa's spokesperson Phindile Makwaka said the amendment bill would empower the minister to announce measures which could prohibit or limit activities that could harm the environment.

Trained to limit damage

Cox said a ban on 4x4s on beaches would not only cause a decline in visitors to the coast, but also would have a negative affect on vehicle sales.

The club asked for a meeting with Moosa at the beginning of the year, and the members wanted to invite him to the club's farm outside Pretoria so that he could see how members were trained to limit damage to nature. They received no answer, said Cox.

He said most 4x4 owners acted in a way that was environmentally friendly.

"There are vandals, but they should rather be tackled through law enforcement and heavy fines of about R10 000," he said.

The bill was passed in the assembly.


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