Red Tape to Red Carpet for Property Developers

Cape Argus, 8 August 2013

Much to the disgust of Cape Town residents, the City Mayor and the Western Cape Premier are rolling out the Red Carpet to property developers. The strategy known as ‘red tape to red carpet’ is being implemented through amendments to public participation processes and substantial changes to the legislation which was meant to govern unbridled property development.

Cartoon: The Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is seen cutting the red tape while the City Mayor Patricia de Lille is seen inviting developers, driving a bulldozer, onto the red carpet. In the background Capetonians are seen raising the red flag and trying to halt this activity. This scene takes place in front of a backdrop depicting the ‘Philippi Horticultural Area’,  known as Cape Town’s food basket.  An application for the rezoning of a large portion of actively farmed properties allowing for urban development on this area came up for City Council consideration on the 31st July. Shockingly, the city councillors voted 127 for rezoning and 63 against, totally going against a tide of expert opinion and community protest and even against the overwhelming opinion of the City’s own officials and departments. Also shown in the cartoon is Princess Vlei, which also against overwhelming public opinion in support of its cultural, biodiversity and natural environment resources, the authorities are pushing to allow for a shopping mall to be built on the site. The words ‘Urban Creep’ encroaches on the mountains behind……


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