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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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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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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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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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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Uitkamp row heads to court

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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Approved eco-estate raises ire

A controversial eco-estate, at the foot of the Hottentot’s Holland Mountains near Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, has received environmental approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP), despite numerous objections received during the public participation process.

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

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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99.99% of Western Cape not engaged in unconstitutional planning legislation says Alliance

The need for the Province to achieve the necessary public familiarity with the proposed legislation has been incredibly underestimated. The fact that the department only received “56” submissions previously, out of a total Western Cape population of 5,822,734 (according to Census 2011), indicates that with a .001% engagement rate, attempts at achieving sufficient public participation has clearly failed.

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Environment Conservation Group say WC Land Use Planning Bill is Unconconstitutional

The ECG has received legal advice from more than one source that the draft Act contravenes the Constitution in a number of respects. In particular it removes the right of community organisations and interested and affected parties to be consulted about planning applications and to submit comments on applications to the authorising body.

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