Hear the people!

Cape Times
August 28, 2014

Bishop Geoff Davies
Southern African Faith Communities’
Environment Institute Kalk Bay writes

SO THERE we have it.

The irony is that in the same edition we read of the city council asking the province to declare Cape Town a “bioregion” to “propel issues of biodiversity and ecological management to a higher level of importance when developmental applications are considered”.

I sincerely hope that this means the city council and the DA are examining what “economic development” and “democracy” really mean. The approval of this restaurant hardly indicates that, particularly when the council’s own spatial planning, environment and land use management committee is against it, and a strategic plan for the valley is in process. Why is the council subverting its own structures?

We in the Western Cape have been blessed with one of the most spectacular and beautiful areas in God’s world.

We know too that in the name of economic growth we are rapidly destroying the natural environment, our life support system upon which we are totally dependent.

I had hoped that our city council had learnt a lesson from the ill-conceived “development” of Princess Vlei.

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.

Tourists come to Cape Town because of its natural wonders.

There is already a plethora of restaurants in Noordhoek and Hout Bay, but only one Table Mountain and Chapman’s Peak, and the present rural peace of Noordhoek.

We dare not kill the goose that is laying the golden egg of tourism. The motivation of this ”development” is clearly not to create jobs.

Regarding democracy, we all long for those in government, both the DA and ANC, to learn to listen to the people. Surely there are better ways for the people to be heard than confrontation, conflict, violence and destruction.

Do the Noordhoek residents have to adopt the same tactics as those in informal settlements to get their democratic voice heard?

It would be good for all who are concerned about economic and democratic development to attend the talk to be given by Charles Eisenstein at UCT on September 4 at 5.30 for 6pm, or read his book Sacred Economics, which demonstrates how we can transform our economics to serve the real needs of people and to care for the planet, leading to greater peace and harmony.


Leave a Reply