Bantamsklip is the name given to spot on a pristine coastline of the southern cape. There are no signposts declaring this spot to be Bantamsklip or public roads that lead to this spot. It is known by local fisherman and inhabited by numerous sea birds, fish, whales and an abundance of local vegetation and marine life. None of its inhabitants care less about its name and probably are satisfied that it has remained undisturbed for many thousands of years. Even the human footprint is small – except for a ship wreck not far from this place and a few shell middens built by Khoisan ‘strandlopers’ over the last few thousands of years ago. This spot has been proposed by Eskom as a site to build one of the three nuclear plants planned for South Africa.
This geographical spot became noticed once the reality of the building of a nuclear plant became known. Botanists, marine biologists, ecologists, archaeologists, palaeontologists, geologists and zoologists, amongst others were called upon to study Bantamsklip and its environment as required by law. The impact of building such plant requires careful studies on the impact it may have. This attention to an otherwise forgotten place produced an array of studies that indicated to the pristine nature of the place as well as the existence of many endemic plants and animals as well as historically important archeologically sites.
It is, moreover an island in a sea of private and public nature reserves, marine reserves, national parks, heritage sites and Special Management Areas. It is recognised as a World botanical ‘hot-spot’. Very few would argue that this place is not worth conserving.
Many local as well as national organisations objected to this proposal and the ‘Save Bantamsklip’ organisation was founded. ‘Save Bantamsklip’ was established some five years ago by a group of local Overberg citizens viewing the intention of the Government to establish a nuclear plant at Bantamsklip as inappropriate and ill-advised.