Save the Vlei Prayer meeting: 22 September 2013

The Princess Vlei Forum will be holding a multi-faith prayer meeting at 2pm on 22 September 2013. The meeting will celebrate the spiritual and cultural richness of the vlei; build our vision for a nature and heritage park at the vlei and unite Capetonians from all faiths and cultures behind the call to stop the mall. It will be held in honour of Reverend John Oliver, a dedicated Princess Vlei Forum executive member who suffered a fatal heart attack in July this year. The meeting follows the call made by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu last month to conserve the vlei.

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The advert Cape Talk refuses to air

Cape Talk Radio has rejected a radio ad created by Mantelli’s Biscuits. Mantelli’s Biscuits are strong advocates of Corporate social responsibility and as such have incorporated various social commentary into their adverts.

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Tutu weighs in against Princess Vlei mall

In a statement to the Princess Vlei Forum, Tutu said: ‘I would like to express my support for the campaign to save the greater Princess Vlei area from the inappropriate development of a shopping mall, and for its protection in perpetuity as a nature and heritage park. Princess Vlei is a valuable place for citizens to come to be close to God and nature, to find peace and to build family and community.

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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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The Mayor and Public Open Spaces

The Princess Vlei Forum, representing a wide range of community organizations and communities in Cape Town expressed the wish that Princess Vlei be preserved as a cultural and recreational open space for all the people of Cape Town.

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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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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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Editorial: Strange developments

First, there is the city’s curious intransigence – and relative silence – on the unsolicited bid to develop a shopping mall on the shores of Princess Vlei, a potential environmental and cultural treasure for the people of Cape Town if sensitively preserved. Then there is its entertaining of a bid to radically alter the urban edge to allow a privately funded, massive development called Wescape to potentially go ahead on the West Coast. Third, there is the unanimous (some say not without duress) decision by the DA caucus in council to vote in favour of the alteration of the urban edge in the Philippi Horticultural Area to accommodate a private sector housing development.

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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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Hot property

In short, the reality which Ashton’s letter and Swimmer’s article bring to public attention is a permanent reality – regardless of which party is currently in power. It requires more Capetonians to participate in their ratepayers’ associations, and to support the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance as a countervailing power, to make democracy work for all of us.

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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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Let’s talk Turkey

Is this not a lesson for our city and provincial governments who seem to be hell-bent on tearing up the people’s hertitage to allow the building of a mall on the banks of Princess Vlei?

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Vlei mall developer accused of fraud

RESIDENTS have laid a charge of fraud against individuals involved in the controversial shopping mall planned to be built at Princess Vlei. Members of the Princess Vlei Forum, a group opposed to the planned shopping mall and taxi rank to be built on public land, said the developers had “misrepresented themselves” on two occasions, and said there were serious irregularities in the development.

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