De Lille threatens to sue highly respected professor over Bo-Kaap spat

“The currently prevailing dominant culture within the ranks of officialdom at the municipality of Cape Town, where senior planning and other officials have been instructed by the mayor to simply say ‘yes’ to development applications, is deeply undermining the exercise of professional responsibility, development control and local government growth-management of the built environment. This culture is patently tending to result in professional officials becoming compromised ethically and not being able to do their jobs effectively,” Todeschini wrote.

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This YouTube doccie might put you off that Camps Bay swim this summer

Every day, the famous Camps Bay region in Cape Town, South Africa, is discharging million of litres of untreated waste-water into our marine reserve. This is creating some serious and growing problems, for the vulnerable sea-life, for us water-users and soon for beach-goers too.

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Chairman’s address : GCTCA AGM 22 OCTOBER 2016 + Video

Never before has the need for civil society vigilance been greater than in this interesting times we live in. We have a constitutional democracy. But what does it mean when the democratic space in local government is fast shrinking and it appears that there has been “state capture” at our local government level.

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City must protect our citizens and environment from developers

Destroying our natural environment and replacing it with concrete jungles, in my estimation at least, can in no way be called progressive development. The cosy relationship between our local government structures and the Western Cape Developers Forum, where red carpet treatment ensures the big developers easy passage to encroach on the urban edge, where zoning rules are amended to allow more units for profit and where the seemingly insatiable mammonic greed is fed.

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Suspicion over bid to save stadium

I am concerned that the City wants to cover up its wastage, and protect themselves from the blame of misspending. It’s going to be difficult to make the stadium commercially viable, and at the end of the day, the ratepayers will still foot the bill no matter how you look at it.

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Update on City of Cape Town stink story

It has been over a year since the City of Cape Town asked for comments from the public as part of the public participation process during its permit application to be allowed to continue discharging untreated effluent into our coastal waters and MPA’s. We have had no feedback or answers to our queries and objections, nor have we been advised as to whether or not the permit was granted and if so under what conditions.

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Veggies v homes in land fight

MSP Developments wants to build on a 260ha slice of the 3 000ha Philippi horticultural area – made up of farms, dunes, wetlands and two informal settlements. The city council backed the plan last month, despite it falling outside the official urban edge and being in an area providing local fresh-food markets with about 100 000 tons of food a year. The plan awaits final approval by Western Cape MEC for local government Anton Bredell, but residents have gone to court to block him from giving it the go-ahead.

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DA Pandering To Economic Hit Men

Our city leadership under the governance of the Democratic Alliance (DA), have indicated clear intent to smother our hard-fought for inclusive, democratic governance system. They have instead prioritised a system of red carpets for business allies, under the auspices of a business friendly administration. Worse yet, they take major decisions, such as the alienation of high potential agricultural land, without due process or consideration. The instruction for the DA caucus to vote en bloc for the alienation of the Phillipi Horticultural Area (PHA) was legally questionable.

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Stop the city from abolishing your property rights

The Mayor is quietly attempting to push this amendment through a full sitting of Council scheduled for August whilst the DA caucus has effectively gagged dissenting councillors. All attempts by various civic/ratepayer groupings to properly consult with the DA in this matter have been met with a stony silence – other than the rather inadequate spin of Cllr Gareth Bloor, which has been published in the various broadsheets.

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Philippi housing plan to be tabled

The Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance’s Gavin Smith responded to Zille by pointing out the 2012 application by private developer MSP Planners was not supported by the vast majority of the city’s departments, mayoral committee or the Western Cape Departments of Agriculture and Sustainable Resource Management.

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Farming in the Philippi Horticultural Area : The facts

On the 22nd July, through ‘Twitter’, one Gareth Pearson asked Patricia De Lille (Mayor of the City of Cape Town) and Helen Zille (Western Cape Premier) the question “how can a city/prov pushing ‘*110% green’ make such questionable decisions around foodsecurity and the PHA? (Philippi Horticultural Area). From the Satellite imagery one can clearly see that the South-West quadrant is extensively used for farming activity, whilst the South-East quadrant not so. BUT there’s a reason for this. The South-East quadrant contains significant tracks of land which have been designated as containing critical biodiversity and ecological support areas.

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Sinister moves by the city’s land-use department in Philippi

There is something very sinister happening in the City’s land use planning department. Now we learn that at the MAYCO meeting on the 16th of this month the same EE&SP member persuaded the mayor and her colleagues to overturn a decision taken last November regarding the most productive & fertile part of the Phillipi Horticultural Area (PHA).

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Princess Vlei fraud probe stops ‘imminent’ land sale

The Princess Vlei Forum lodged the fraud complaints, alleging serious irregularities. However, forum members were perturbed when they heard from the Reverend John Oliver shortly before his death last week that the city council was poised to sell the portion of Princess Vlei land to the mall developer before the police investigation had been completed.

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Activists concerned

The executive director of compliance and auxiliary services, Gerhard Ras, said: “The process is… clumsy and lengthy and has caused delays in respect of council’s policy, by-laws and decision-making processes” The new proposal would allow the mayor to decide on the way that public engagement should take place.

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Be afraid, be very afraid!

Presumably he refers to developers, whom the city seems ever more anxious to please and appease, hence the mayor’s Red Tape to Red Carpet battle cry. It is apparent that what the DA really wants is a free hand to do what it wants in Cape Town land use planning matters by closing down the space afforded for constructive public comment and participation in the workings of local government; the comment and participation which provides the checks and balances on authoritarianism essential in a properly working democratic political system.

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Policy will ‘deny’ Public Voice

The City confirms it is considering an amendment to its System of Delegations for the Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning matters. The GCTCA, which represents 160 civic organisations, has sent an open letter of objection to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. The GCTCA writes if these proposals are adopted, they will “virtually shut down entirely the present space for public participation”.

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