ConCourt pours cold water on man’s bid for Harties foreshore rights
A bid by the area’s snake and animal park owner to obtain servitude rights has been denied by SA’s highest court
The Constitutional Court has shut the door on a drawn-out legal battle about property rights to the foreshore of Hartbeespoort Dam in North West involving the owner of the town’s iconic snake and animal park, the department of water and sanitation and the Transvaal Yacht Club.
The fight has its origins in servitude rights granted in 1922, when construction of the dam was about to begin. At the time, the Crocodile River ran through land owned by local farmer Johan Hendrik Schoeman. He wanted compensation of £80,000 from the state because construction of the dam would have meant much of his farm was swallowed up.
But the government, the Union of SA at the time, could not come up with the money, instead offering him £35,000 and guaranteed access rights to the foreshore for boating and fishing. These were the beginnings of the Transvaal Yacht Club, which inherited the rights alongside the government of the day...