Chapman’s Peak Toll Business Block on SA National Parks land

January 10, 2012
By Alan Jackson – Secretary, Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance

The Cape Times article entitled “Toll Road Company to build R54m luxury office block on Chapman’s Peak Drive” on 9 January 2012, and the interview John Maytham of Cape Talk had with MEC Robin Carlisle on the same issue on the same day, refer.   

Robin Carlisle introduced his comments with the words “These are basically the comments of one Len Swimmer and his 3 committee members”.

We believe that many Capetonians are shocked at his development, and would like to support the Hout Bay Community and many others who oppose this development.
Join the protest march on Sunday 22 January, 2012  10.30am for 11am start at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay, and this will be the indicator of the number of people opposing the toll building. 
In addition, MEC Carlisle:
  • Denied that there will be 60 people working in the building at one time.
  • Disputed the size and the cost of the building, but admitted that he did not know what it will cost.
  • Told us that access to picnic spots has always been an informal arrangement, and said that he had told Entilini that he wanted this access to continue.
  • He referred to the building being built in an existing quarry, and that the building will in fact improve the environmental situation there.
  • He referred to much of the detail in the article as being “cr*p”

It is unfortunate that MEC Carlisle’s comments do little to address the real issues around this matter.

The GCTCA:

  • remains opposed to this road having been tolled in the first place. The DA is opposed to the tolling of highways, but has quite happily, and hypocritically, supported the continued tolling of Chapman’s Peak.
  • is astounded that SA National Parks has agreed to this building on National Parks, and therefore public, land.
  • believes that there is absolutely no need to build on the pass- the building could be in Noordhoek at the foot of the pass as is the case with many pass tolls.
  • is astounded that the new contract between the Province and Entilini does not protect the rights of the public to reach the picnic spots on Chapman’s Peak pass, thus robbing citizens (especially poor citizens) of their own natural heritage.
  • disputes that the building will improve the environmental situation in what is currently a quarry. This is a significant stretch of Mr Carlisle’s imagination.  No building in a National Park land improves that environment, and this is especially so on a pristine mountainside as is the case here. Instead we believe that the quarry should be rehabilitated.  

There will be a protest march on Sunday 22 January beginning at 10.30am for 11am start at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay, and this will be the indicator of the number of people opposing the toll building

We also believe that there is no need for Robin Carlisle to swear, or to denigrate the information printed in the article as being “cr*p”. I would like to request Mr Carlisle to discontinue his crude language in public.

 

3 comments to Chapman’s Peak Toll Business Block on SA National Parks land

  • Anton

    does the march start at 10am or 11am? conflicting info in RED. thanks

    • WebWolly

      Thanks Anton! Correction made. The march is scheduled to start at 11am with the request that protesters begin congregating from 10:30am.

  • Thomas Mihal

    Let me start at the beginning :
    There rockfalls that started the whole disaster had tragic consequences – the obvious ones
    as people got killed or isured , but far reaching ones as well because the quality of life
    for many thousands of citicens has been affected and will be affected negatively for as
    long as we take the “cr*p” ( to use a popular term) .
    The authorities have passed on ,the responsibility of keeping Chapmans Peak Drive save for the public
    to some contractors or organisation who were clever enough to see the commecial potential in the project
    but not clever enough to see that scraping off the top soil to remove loose rocks will result in
    terrible damage to the flora on the slope and therefore destroy what naturally held the rocks in place
    – the tight natural net of a roots .
    Driving on many roads in the Alps in Austria and Switzerland one can see far more dangerous slopes
    and potential rockfalls because of the additional problem of annual snowfalls and avalanches.
    Still catching nets , deflectors and other simple but effective devises are istalled and there are
    very few accidents.
    After this terrible damage was done to the mountain , we had to pay good money to drive where we
    surely should have a right to drive savely for free.
    People from all over Cape Town used to come to Chapmans Peak Drive every Weekend and enjoy a picnic
    and the beautiful scenery , people from all walks of life whole families with grannies uncles and
    aunties got together and joined other people , Capies and Tousists in the universal spirit of joy.
    As for the toll – the screw is being tightened and tightened – first there was a special arrangement
    for locals – that got discontiued because of “abuse” – then the fee goes up and up – nothing we can
    do about it. Now the ” daypass ” the free access to the picnic areas will soon be a thing of the past.
    If against all odds the public manages to prevent either the building of the new monstosity or the
    withdrawl of the “privilege” of free access to the picnic spots, then we will happily carry on paying
    the ever increasing toll fee – thinking that we have won a great victory.
    Have you noticed that Chapies is closed far more often after the toll – story then before ??.
    Have you seen the sign that says ” use at your own risk” ?!!
    Of course somebody will say: You do not have to use the road if you do not want to.
    Unfortunately a great number of peoples businesses depend on this road not to mention
    the people who work in Hout Bay and live in Noordhoek or the People with relatives in
    Noordhoek that live in Hout Bay.
    Well the granny and the auntie in Plumstead or Lavender Hill who were looking forward to the
    family outing on sunday will be disappointed in future , because with the petrol price as it is
    the extra toll fee will keep the family at home watching TV.
    Maybe that is the purpose of the whole thing – keep the area ” upmarket “.
    I do not think so – it is probably pure greed without any other goal.
    So what are we going to do ?
    WE are going to line up with our cars – next to the new office block –
    having our change ready.
    BAA BAA BAA BAA……………….

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