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METISS Subsea Cable System

Environmental Impact Assessment

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and Elettra Tlc s.p.a (Elettra) have been selected as the Suppliers of the Melting poT Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS) fibre optic submarine cable system proposed to link South Africa, Madagascar, Réunion Island and Mauritius.

The METISS submarine cabling system will span more than 3,200 km and deliver a boost to bandwidth between the respective countries, providing a connection speed of 24 Terabytes Per Second (TBps).

The anticipated METISS submarine cable footprint within RSA waters (inclusive of Territorial and Economic Exclusive Zone) is 538 km. The system includes a 14 - 35 mm diameter cable that will enter the South African Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles from the sea shore), through to the Territorial Waters (12 nautical miles from the sea shore), cross the shoreline and terminate in a Beach Manhole that will be installed at Amanzimoti Pipeline Beach in KwaZulu-Natal. The cable system is provisionally scheduled to be landed and installed in the first quarter of 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2020.

The METISS open cable system is owned by a consortium of companies including Canal+ Télécom, CEB FiberNet, EMTEL, Zeop, SRR (SFR) and TELMA. ASN is responsible for the installation of the cable system within the South African terrestrial footprint. Liquid Telecom is the landing party and is responsible for the operational aspects of this project. As such, Liquid telecom has been defined as the proponent for the purposes of this Project.

All planning, installation and maintenance are performed according to approved and certified ISO quality systems. The planning of the route is performed in accordance with industry recognised standards and codes including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Purpose of this Project
Environmental Resources Management (ERM) has been appointed by Liquid Telecom to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (Act No. 107 of 1998, as amended) for the environmental authorisation of this Project. This Draft Scoping Report has been compiled as part of the EIA process in accordance with the regulatory requirements stipulated in the EIA Government Notice Regulations (GNR. 326) promulgated in terms of Section 24(5) of NEMA (Act No. 107 of 1998), as amended.

A typical EIA process is usually undertaken in three phases namely Scoping Phase, Specialist Studies, and Impact Assessment. This Draft Scoping Report documents the findings of the Scoping Phase.
The Scoping Report identifies the potentially significant environmental and social issues relating to the establishment/construction, operation and decommissioning of the proposed development that should be addressed in the EIA. This was done through desktop review of available project and baseline information, initial engagement with key stakeholders (and other public consultation initiatives) as well as a site reconnaissance.

The Scoping Report also includes a description of the proposed project, infrastructure and activities, alternatives considered, and the EIA methodology. A description of the stakeholder engagement process and the key issues raised by stakeholders through the consultation activities are also presented during the Scoping Phase and will be detailed in the Final Scoping Report. These issues will inform the development of the Plan of Study for the EIA, which will define the detailed studies to be undertaken as part of the specialist studies phase. Copies of the Draft Scoping Report were made available for public comment for a 30 day period. Comments made during this period are to be recorded and addressed in a Comments and Responses Report in the Final Scoping Report (Annex B). They will then be submitted to the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for review.

Draft Scoping Report
The Draft Scoping Report has been made available for a 30 day comment period.

Contact information

For more information on the Draft Scoping Report, please contact:

Vicky Stevens
metiss-subseacable-eia@erm.com
Tel: +27021 681 5400
Post: Postnet Suite 90, Private Bag X12, Tokai, 7966

Applicant Contact Details

Liquid Telecom
Name: Mervin Chetty
Address:  41 Old Pretoria Main Road Halfway house Midrand 1685
Tel: +21 11 585 1827