Cape Town - Chapman’s Peak drive, the world-renowned tourism attraction, will get its toll plazas after all, following a decision by Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk yesterday.

Van Schalkwyk recorded his decision following a five-year process in which a large number of appeals and objections against the toll infrastructure were considered.

It now means the 9km road, affectionately known as “Chappies”, which runs along some of the most breathtaking scenery of the Cape’s Atlantic coast, will have four-lane toll plazas at both entrances at Koëlbaai, on the Hout Bay side of the road, and Noordhoek.

Van Schalkwyk said he was satisfied that there were various “factors and considerations” which affected the size of the toll plazas and that they would “not be excessive”.

It would also be a mechanism to close down “Chappies” in the event of rock falls, Van Schalkwyk said.

The road has been subject to dangerous rock falls in the past and has been closed for lengthy periods because of this danger.

The decision to have two tolling plazas was taken in 2003, after completion of all the relevant statutory processes, including an extensive public participation process, Van Schalkwyk said.

Some of the objections centred on the fact that the toll plaza at Koëlbaai encroached on the Table Mountain National Park and required an environmental impact assessment.

Van Schalkwyk said the proposed permanent toll plazas would blend aesthetically with the surrounding environment and there was no basis to contend that they would devalue property in the surrounding area or “unduly” affect housing in the area.

“On the contrary, the plazas are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.”

Van Schalkwyk said that the Noordhoek plaza would be altered so that it would be constructed within the prescribed road reserve and not encroach on the property of Serina Investments, which operates a kaolin mine nearby.

He said Serina Investments’ application for the amendment to the structure plan on which it relied to develop a residential development was submitted on only September 17 last year, after the environmental impact assessment had been completed.

This application has not yet been finalised by the city of Cape Town.

Van Schalkwyk said he had weighed the “cumulative effect” of objections which he felt carried some weight and was satisfied that, “taken together”, they did not justify the setting aside the record of decision made in 2005.

He said that the conditions included in the attached record of decision were “deemed adequate to mitigate the identified effects to acceptable levels”.