METISS Subsea Cable System

Environmental Impact Assessment

The Project involves the installation and operation of the Melting Pot Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS) in South Africa.

METISS is a proposed new subsea, fibre optic cable system that will connect Mauritius to South Africa and provide high-speed connectivity of 24 terabytes per second to the global telecommunications network, as well as low latency access to enhance business operations across multiple industries. The METISS Subsea Cable 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 METISS main cable (‘trunk’) will run more than 3,200 km from Mauritius to South Africa and splits at Branching Units off the main trunk to landing sites in Reunion Island and Madagascar. In South Africa specifically, the METISS subsea cable will run approximately 538 km (inclusive of Territorial Waters and Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ)). The system includes a 14 mm to 35 mm diameter subsea cable that will enter the South African EEZ (approximately 370 km from the seashore) and continue through Territorial Waters (approximately 22 km from the seashore), and onto land until it reaches the Cable Landing Station (CLS) at Pipeline Beach in Amanzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal. The Project is provisionally scheduled to be installed in the first quarter of 2020 and is expected to be completed and operational by the end of the third quarter of 2020.

METISS is owned by a Consortium of companies comprising Canal+ Télécom, CEB FiberNet, EMTEL, Zeop, SRR (SFR) and TELMA. The Consortium was formed for the purposes of developing the system. The Consortium has contracted Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and Elettra to manufacture and install the subsea cable system. The Consortium has contracted Liquid Telecom to act as the Landing Party in South Africa, responsible for the installation of the terrestrial component of the METISS subsea cable system and the operational aspects of this Project in South Africa.

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).

Environmental Impact Assessment Process

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 (No.107 of 1998), as amended (NEMA) for the environmental authorisation of this Project.

The Draft Scoping Report was made available for public comment for a 30 day period. Comments made during this period were recorded and addressed in a Comments and Responses Report in the Final Scoping Report (Annex C). The Final Scoping Report was submitted to the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for review on 13 March 2019 and was approved on 14 April 2019.
The Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report was released for public comment for a 30 day period between 4 June and 5 July 2019. Comments made during this period were recorded and addressed in the Comments and Responses Report of the Final EIA Report.

The Final EIA Report was submitted to the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on 24 July 2019 for review. Registered stakeholders were notified of the submission of report for decision making and the availably of the report on the Project website on the 25 July 2019.

Final Environmental Impact Assessment Report

METISS Final EIA Report

Appendix A Undertaking of the EAP

Appendix B Stakeholder information

Appendix C Comments and Response

Appendix D Maps

Appendix E DEA Meeting Minutes

Appendix F Specialist Studies

Appendix G Environmental Mangement Programme


Contact information

For more information on the Project, please contact:

Vicky Stevens
Tel: +2721 681 5400
Post: Postnet Suite 90, Private Bag X12, Tokai, 7966