City of Cape Town’s ‘project pave-over’ of irreplaceable land

For generations to come, up to 70 percent of the vegetable supply of Capetonians will have to be imported from outside the province.

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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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GCTCA robustly and formally objects to development on the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA)

The GCTCA sincerely hopes that sanity will prevail and that political and housing development greed will not be the victor at the extreme loss of food security and very scarce water supplies, as well as jobs.

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Watch: Carte Blanche video Philippi Horticultural Area under threat

The Philippi farming community gives the Cape 200 000 tonnes of vegetables and flowers every year. Only 20 kilometres from the centre of town, Philippi has been Cape Town’s bread basket for nearly 2000 years. Carte Blanche asks: why are the city’s own town planners threatening its survival during one of the most devastating droughts this country has ever seen?

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Cape Aquifer denials, disinformation

“Good agricultural land on the urban edge and elsewhere is rapidly being consumed by urban development, and valuable biodiversity resources and areas of scenic and amenity value are being threatened.”

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Video: Cape Sewage Outrage

Aerial photographs of the oceans around the Southern tip of the continent went viral earlier this year causing outrage. The images showed that the City of Cape Town was pumping 55 million litres of untreated sewage into Table Bay every day. New scientific analysis now reveals that 87 000 carcinogenic, hormone disrupting chemicals could be seeping from the sewage mass into the oceans. Yet, the city is without any immediate solutions. Carte Blanche investigates the far-reaching impact of the filth.

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Turn stadium into sewerage plant

Cape Town Stadium should be converted into a hi-tech sewerage plant so the city can stop discharging about 50 million litres of untreated effluent in Hout Bay, Camps Bay and Green Point daily.

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Treasure the Karoo Action Group update

TKAG has recently written to the President and several Cabinet Ministers, placing relevant studies, reports and evidence in front of them that highlight the risks of shale gas mining, urging a cautious approach. After our communication being ignored, we decided to lay a formal complaint with the Public Protector, where the matter will be investigated.

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NO to Philippi and YES to WesCape development

The controversial proposal to develop the Philippi Horticultural Area – the rich agricultural area of the Cape Flats known as the city’s “bread-basket” – has been turned down by provincial Planning MEC Anton Bredell.

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Cape Town Anti-Fracking March – Friday 18th October

We the people of the Western Cape are deeply concerned by Government’s management of the South African energy sector. The energy planning responsibilities of the Department of Energy with regards to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and more recently the Integrated Energy Plan have lacked ambition with regards to ensuring that we as South African citizens have access to a safe, affordable and sustainable electricity supply.

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Save the Philippi Horticultural Area!

On the 31 July 2013 the City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee (MAYCO) approved the housing development proposed by MSP in the SW corner of the PHA. They ignored the urban edge zoning recommendations by City Planners and others.

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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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Durbanville forum fights to preserve historic farmland

Its members are concerned that recent moves to change the urban edge elsewhere in the city, such as using the Philippi Horticultural Area for residential development, may give this application greater impetus. The forum is meanwhile taking local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell, to court to set aside the environmental authorisation given by Bredell in February.

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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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Uproar over urban creep as Cape Town flouts its own rulings on agricultural land

Mayco’s decision contravenes the Cape Town Spatial Development Framework, approved by council last year, which took the city five years to develop with extensive public input. The framework states that the ‘loss of agricultural land to urban development threatens food security in the city’ and says one of Cape Town’s assets is ‘high potential and unique agricultural land’.

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