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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No green light yet for Uitkamp in Durbanville

“The land is agricultural land and it remains under the jurisdiction of the national minister of agriculture. No provincial or City approvals can supersede his and the national department’s authority over the land. The developer still needs approvals from both the national departments of agriculture and water affairs – any local authorisations granted cannot in isolation be wrenched from the rest of the legislative processes,”

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Durbanville forum to appeal controversial farmland property development

What is of real concern is that a school will be built on both high potential soils and delineated wetlands, and the forum wonders what sort of legacy it will leave for future generations of schoolchildren as greater awareness evolves of our ever decreasing, scarce and irreplaceable natural resources. Once these resources are developed, they are damaged forever.

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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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Civic Groups petition Cape Town Council

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

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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DA alerts to ‘have your say’ are a pretence

The Western Cape needs a multiparty coalition to rule effectively so communities at least have a fighting chance. We live under a dictatorship.

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Forum calls on city to halt Uitkamp discussions

And the civic group, which represents about 13 ratepayers’ associations and forums, has asked Local Government MEC Anton Bredell to intervene and investigate the possibility that “maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractice” occurred in the decision to consider the application in council, despite a pending high court application about the environmental approvals needed.

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Cape Town spurns urban edge restrictions

News of the committee’s support came as a surprise to the Durbanville Community Forum, which has been fighting the proposed development for almost 10 years. The forum has lodged an application in the Western Cape High Court to have the provincial government’s environmental authorisation for the development overturned.

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Save our precious Princess Vlei space

CAPE Town is indeed blessed with good citizens such as Janey Ball and Ben Rabinowitz of Seafront for all (Seafa) who need to be congratulated for their sterling work in saving the Sea Point Pavilion for the people. The City of Cape Town also deserves our congratulations for listening to the people and making the correct decision to preserve the pavilion for future generations, albeit after a lengthy and costly battle.

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Court battle looms over Durbanville property development on farm land

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell’s environmental approval for the development is being challenged in the Western Cape High Court by the Durbanville Community Forum, which represents 13 ratepayers’ associations. The would- be developer, the AFM Louw Family Trust, also has to get planning approval from the city to rezone and subdivide the property, as well as consent use for those parts of the development that would not comply with rezoning regulations.

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Senior officials panned for ‘bias’

His officials are accused of, among other things, “systematically misrepresenting” the agricultural potential of the property, authorising the re-use of outdated specialists’ reports, contravening mandatory legislative provisions, allowing themselves to be lobbied, having “closed minds” conducting an assessment of environmental impacts that was “a farce and a dereliction of duties”, suppressing unfavourable information, and failing to apply their own environmental impact guidelines.

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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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Bid to halt 766 unit housing project

Unfair, unreasonable and unlawful – these are some of the allegations the Durbanville Community Forum has made in court papers against the Western Cape government’s approval for a major housing development on agricultural land outside the urban edge. The forum, which had ‘exhausted all other remedies’, is now taking legal action against Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, to have his decision reviewed and set aside.

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Durbanville forum fights to preserve historic farmland

Its members are concerned that recent moves to change the urban edge elsewhere in the city, such as using the Philippi Horticultural Area for residential development, may give this application greater impetus. The forum is meanwhile taking local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell, to court to set aside the environmental authorisation given by Bredell in February.

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