Considered response to Philippi Horticultural Area decision

I WISH to applaud Minister Anton Bredell for his decision in the Philippi Horticultural Area matter, where the City of Cape Town asked him to extend the urban edge to allow development on the fertile agricultural area of the PHA, on top of a well-watered aquifer.

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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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Minister turns down development application in Philippi Horticultural Area

As the competent authority in terms of the Land Use Planning Ordinance, 1985 (LUPO) I have decided not to approve the application by MSP Developments for the proposed amendment of the City of Cape Town’s Spatial Development Framework (CTSDF) in terms of section 4(7) of LUPO, to change the designation of certain land in the south-western sector of the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) from agricultural land of significant value to urban development and for the amendment of the City’s urban edge.

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Philippi farmlands have been sold out to developers

THE Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) is at a crossroads. It faces collapse through ad hoc development planning decisions, the lack of a comprehensive management plan and a lack of good political leadership.

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Capetonians urged to raise a red flag for Princess Vlei

Saturday 9th November @ 10 am. We are raising the red flag for Princess Vlei because something of great value is in danger. We are raising the red flag to warn our fellow citizens that the City proposes to disregard the needs of poorer citizens for accessible recreational areas, and to sell off a public open space which has been used by the community for generations.

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Philippi Horticultural Area: Rubble baron’s dumping troubles pile up

A few kilometres north of the plush suburbs of Cape Town, the farming community of Philippi produces 100 000 tonnes of fresh produce a year. A natural wetland used to regulate the area’s ecosystem, but illegal dumping, allegedly by a company called Ross Demolition, has blocked the waterland’s exits. When the winter rains came this year, it led to area-wide flooding. Food gardens and live animals died in the deluge, and knee-high water in homes forced people to move elsewhere.

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Those who sabotage agricultural land for gain must be billed

Mayor Patricia de Lille’s only response to the PHA community however is shocking. It seems that she is only interested in trying to politicise the suffering, while ignoring what could become an environmental disaster under her watch. On September 30, the alliance noted in the mayor’s newsletter “Cape Town This Week: Cape Town’s water supply allows the City to maintain high levels of service delivery” how she espoused all the virtues of Cape Town and it’s water infrastructure, and boasted about the 100 years of infrastructure we enjoy.

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Save our precious Princess Vlei space

CAPE Town is indeed blessed with good citizens such as Janey Ball and Ben Rabinowitz of Seafront for all (Seafa) who need to be congratulated for their sterling work in saving the Sea Point Pavilion for the people. The City of Cape Town also deserves our congratulations for listening to the people and making the correct decision to preserve the pavilion for future generations, albeit after a lengthy and costly battle.

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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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Roll up red carpet for developers and listen to residents

Recently it was announced that the Mayor would appoint what one would call a “red carpet facilitator”. Read this with the proposal to change delegations in respect of planning issues and changing the mandate of the Spatial, Environmental, Land use and Planning committee making it a toothless instrument, delegating decision making powers to officials and one can’t but wonder what is going on.

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DA in the Western Cape is making the same mistakes as the ANC : Mangosuthu Buthelezi

“Nineteen years of democracy under the ANC have convinced South Africans that their voice doesn’t really count,” he said. In the Western Cape, the DA was “walking the same dangerous path of closing down the democratic space”. “The intention is to develop the city at a rapid pace, at all costs, to showcase how much better a DA-led government is than an ANC government. But such development cannot be done in a high-handed, autocratic manner, against the will of the people and even against the best interests of long-term food security, environmental integrity and social harmony,” Buthelezi said.

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Red Tape to Red Carpet for Property Developers

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 property development.

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Power and arrogance in council structures

There already seems to be power arrogance at play in these matters, as the impact of public participation is whittled away by emotive responses to community objections to developments which were felt not to be in their best interest. We must have rigorous public engagement to ensure balanced development in the city where nature and the built environment can be in harmony.

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Protect the city’s hidden jewel

The mayor says “in the area under scrutiny large parts are not farmed while some parts are”. In reality, Madam Mayor, of the 40 erven “under scrutiny” (for development), only eight are not being farmed, and are held by speculators.

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Undignified rant

Unfortunately her record as mayor of Cape Town has been less illustrious but it gives us no pleasure to do our duty as citizens concerned with the direction that the City’s administration is heading, by taking her to task when we perceive serious mistakes being made. In this process we always say who we are, as does everyone who writes to the local media – our letters & articles would not be accepted for publication otherwise, so her rant about “nameless sources” is undignified.

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