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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Civic groups object to encroaching developers

As public opinion was being disregarded, “other forms of action” would be necessary to protect the city from this type of development. “(Heaven) forbid that this regime ever gets its grubby paws on the Winelands. It’s apparent that tourism, the local economy’s major export, jobs and food security mean little to the city in practical terms.”

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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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Backlash over city’s planning

There is no intention to refer any land-use planning matter to any interested and affected party, only to the landowner

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Vexing Development

THE letter by Garreth Bloor, “City will still engage communities and bolster sub-councils” (June 14), follows a withdrawal of the item on the city’s agenda at its May council meeting to reduce the role of sub-councils (due to resistance from DA councillors), and is an attempt to lull the public into a false sense of security, while the city goes ahead with its efforts to fast-track development at all costs.

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ONE MAN’S DECISION?

Cape Town – Applications for large-scale developments and other land-use plans may soon be pushed through council without any opportunity for consultation or objections from affected parties.

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Alliance between city and developers undermines rights

A NUMBER of events lead me to a firm conclusion that environmental planning and developmental analysis in this city is under unprecedented attack through collusion between political and commercial interests.

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Open letter to Mayor De Lille: The Essence of Democratic Local Government

Concentrating in one official’s hands all power of decision regarding matters central to local communities’ lives, such as land use planning, without any involvement of the people concerned, is the converse of democracy. Democratic and accountable government for local communities entails public participation in the exercise of local government. To take away the delegation to subcouncils of the power to review a land use planning application and hence remove the ability of Interested & Affected Parties to comment on such applications is to deny the essence of democratic local government.

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Letter: To Mec Bredell on proposed WesCape development

Approving an amendment of the urban edge under these circumstances would grant Provincial recognition to a decision-making process that has disregarded key mechanisms of public participation, ignored expert opinion, and contravened Council’s own policies and plans. Such decisions cannot be reconciled with good governance. We therefore urge you to decline the WesCape application.

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The City’s integrated development plan (“IDP”): living on our ecological overdraft

The current pro development stance of the Province and City, whilst on the face of it necessary given poverty eradication challenges, is not capable of generating long term job and economic growth as once every square inch is developed then the very reason why people were attracted to the western cape would have been destroyed.

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