Philippi farmers claim victory

Activists have hailed the dismissal of an application to rezone prime agricultural land in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) as a victory, and a punch in the gut to developers and the City, which they say has used bullying tactics to push the development through.

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Cape Town residents concerned about “development at all costs” approach

It was claimed at the meeting that the mayor had given an instruction to city officials that they were not to raise objections to development applications submitted to the city. De Lille dismissed this claim: “This is a lie. Bring the evidence.”

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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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Tender out for Granger Bay site in Cape Town

Civic associations accuse the City of using bullying tactics and deciding the end result before the public participation process has started, but the City says the the proposal was an ‘appropriate development mix’…

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City of Cape Town ‘bulldozing’ through developments

Civic organisations from across the city are becoming increasingly concerned at the cosy relationship between the City of Cape Town and private developers, saying inappropriate developments were being bulldozed through with objections routinely ignored.

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Cape Town’s ‘not so grand’ centralisation scheme

The City, which works for its corporate citizens, providing them with a “red tape to red carpet” special service that us mere mortals can only dream of, is implementing a massive growth strategy to increase square metres of office, conference, hotel and private living space in the central business district (CBD) and close to it.This makes the land in the CBD much more valuable, making billions for the property developers and hundreds of millions in additional rates annually for the City.

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GCTCA Annual Chairman’s Report August 2015

It would appear that the voice of the ratepayer is being silenced by the new municipal bylaw on planning (MBL). Regulation will allow developments to be approved without consultation with the ratepayers and community. A closer study of the MBL reveal quite wide ranging powers given to the City to exclude public participation, e.g the City can decide whom it feels would be appropriate to consult. This means it could bypass the local ratepayer and civic organisations thus denying organised community structures a voice.

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Cape Town Sewage: SAFM interview with Dr Jo Barnes 9 July

Dr Jo Barnes is interviewed by Nancy Richards on SAFM where she explains the serious health risks associated with the continued use of outfall sewers.

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Diverting attention

Premier Zille, if you are indeed “committed” to curbing alcohol abuse, please answer why you are not using your political influence on your colleagues in the city to force them to follow recommendations made by the head of your own Health Department, Professor Craig Househam, to reduce the city’s liquor trading hours for licensed pubs and liquor stores, and have the Liquor Authority heed objections to liquor licence applications from communities suffering from high levels of social ills, while getting social workers to play a more prominent role in creating safer communities.

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Province, city’s liquor policies must help create safe society

Why not implement recommendations made by experts and academics, such as Professor Craig Househam, to reduce the city’s liquor trading hours for licensed pubs and liquor stores, and have the Liquor Authority heed objections to liquor licence applications from communities suffering from high levels of social ills.

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GCTCA comments on the proposed withdrawal of the 2001 Peninsula Urban Edge Study

We appreciate the pressures that the City is under to cope with the unrelenting influx of persons wishing to live in the metropole and the blandishments offered by unscrupulous developers in terms of increased rates revenue that the City will garner from every new upmarket housing development. However, it is the duty of the custodians of this beautiful part of Earth to safeguard its natural assets for the countless generations to come.

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A template for urban innovation

At the moment, civil society’s voice and democratic space is being systematically closed down – only choreographed and sham public participation takes place. Centralised decision-making and an attitude that “we know best what’s good for you” is the order of the day, and, when challenged by civil society, the local administration is quick to respond: “Take us to court” – and they have plenty of money (our ratepayers’ money) to defend high court actions.

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Recent development decisions make mockery of city’s bid to be a bioregion

Van der Merwe’s letter is typical of the “we know best” attitude of those inhabiting the Cape Town Civic Centre, perfectly illustrated in the first sentence of his second paragraph in which the concerns of residents are the last consideration mentioned, though it is they who put the politicians in power.

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Centralised decisions destroying the City’s natural resources

The current Cape Town structure and the power vested solely in the position of the executive mayor and Mayco (her mayoral committee) has embraced this form of government, with its dictatorial, centralised control.

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Hear the people!

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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