The felling of pine trees in Tokai Forest has been halted, thanks to an order granted in the Western Cape High Court, says a Weekend Argus report. The interim interdict, signed off by Judge Lee Bozalek, was granted after urban parks safety association Parkscape, MTO Forestry and SANParks agreed to suspend the felling process until court proceedings next month.

MTO Forestry began felling the pine trees last month to make way for ecologists to restore critically endangered Cape Flats sand fynbos. However, the residents raised safety concerns, saying fynbos grew tall and the area could become a breeding ground for criminal activity. Parkscape also accused MTO Forestry of failing to undertake a public participation process.

When the case went to court, there were two parts to proceedings. The first was an application for an interim interdict on an urgent basis to halt the felling pending the second part of the proceedings, which was to have the decision to fell the trees reviewed and set aside. The parties settled the first part of the proceedings and agreed felling would not continue until the main application is decided, which is scheduled to be argued on 10 October.

Full Weekend Argus report (subscription needed)