Hear the people!

PropDev

We know those in power place a priority on “economic; growth”, but economic development must be to uplift people and take care of our natural surroundings and environment, not increase the wealth and power of the already rich.

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Civic Groups petition Cape Town Council

Chappies5

THE PRESENCE of unique agricultural soils on Uitkamp farm in Durbanvillle was played down or even ignored in the decision-making process that approved extensive development on this historic property, say civic groups.

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Civic groups take aim at Uitkamp

Chappies5

It is also part of a general gripe by civic groups, through the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, about the allegedly pro-development planning policies and decisions by the DA-led city and province. This has also become an election issue.

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Capetonians urged to raise a red flag for Princess Vlei

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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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The desecration of a temple

PrincessVleiLogo

But perhaps what was most remarkable about this gathering was that this group had come together on September 22 to defend one Cape Town’s most contested natural features – the Princess Vlei. What has motivated these moral custodians of our city to take this stand? Why has Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu bothered to weigh in to the debate with a message of support?

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Photo’s: Cape Town multidisciplinary protest action in support of the global day of anti-fracking – Friday 18th October

SaveKaroo

A broad spectrum of civil rights and environmental organisations were represented in a multidisciplinary protest action in support of the global day of anti-fracking, energy justice and in commemoration of the death of Nigerian activist Ken Saro Wiwa in 1995.

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Cape Town Anti-Fracking March – Friday 18th October

Frack demo flyer

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!

Re0561186

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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Is the Chapman’s Peak toll plaza the DA’s own Nkandla?

Chappies5

Unless one has a jaundiced political perspective, it is very difficult to disagree with the DA’s stand on Nkandla, given the unbelievable economic hardship faced by the vast majority of South Africans. Transparency and accountability are given high priority under the DA’s governance policy framework, yet it seems that there are some very good examples of the DA falling well short of its ambitions. The R53m toll plaza building on Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town is one example.

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The advert Cape Talk refuses to air

radio

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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Costly tolls spoil famous cape route

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The Hout Bay Residents Association this week appealed to the Competition Commission to investigate the entire 30-year toll road contract. Two companies linked to the project have accepted fines in a R1.46-billion construction industry collusion scandal; The Swiss company that provided safety nets to prevent rocks rolling on the road withdrew its safety guarantee two years ago for undisclosed reasons; A community leader from Hout Bay, which adjoins Chapman’s Peak Drive has called on residents to boycott the toll road to “punish” the provincial government for an “undemocratic” decision to support it; and A geology professor has warned that the new R54-million toll plaza office building is built into a slope of granite koalinite that, if disturbed, is prone to mudslides and slippages.

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Red Tape to Red Carpet for Property Developers

Re0561186

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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Stop the city from abolishing your property rights

DeveloperMan

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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Princess Vlei fraud probe stops ‘imminent’ land sale

happyface

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

PPRestInPeace

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!

beafraid

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

PPRestInPeace

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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Vexing Development

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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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The City’s ‘spin’ about the removal of subcouncils’ powers concerning land use planning

spin

From the political polemic in his letter it appears 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 presently 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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ONE MAN’S DECISION?

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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

PoliticalFunding

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

PrincessVleiLogo

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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Editorial: Poll road

cityleaksblog

It may be that the MEC – and can this be the same Robin Carlisle who favours the construction of a huge toll plaza and office block on Chapman’s Peak Drive? – has bitten off more than he can chew.

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Cape Fracking activist wins international environmental prize

happyface

South African environmental campaigner Jonathan Deal was today awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in the fight against hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo.

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Uitkamp row heads to court

sadface

The Durbanville Community Forum has vowed to fight the state’s decision to approve development on “historic” farmland outside the urban edge.

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Environment Conservation Group say developers proposal a logical absurdity, a clear case of putting the cart before the horse

cityleaks4sm

This proposal is a logical absurdity and is a clear case of putting the cart before the horse. Land Use Approvals are predicated on the specific Environmental Authorisation (EA) for the proposed development and thus the former must take all the conditions specified in the EA into account.

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