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Sunday, 14 September 2008

MINUTES Jun 08: AGM

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
of the Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association held on 23 June 2008 at the Rotunda at 19h30, are below. This document, marked third draft, has been approved by the Management Committee and will be submitted for ratification at the next AGM.

Apologies: Mel Richter, Thomas Geh, Patrick O’Connor, Alan Chiat, Brenda and Keith Getz

The Chairman, Chris Willemse, opened the meeting and welcomed all.

Members present were asked to sign the Attendance Register that was being circulated. (117 members signed the Register)

Chris thanked Maree Brink of The Bay Hotel for the generous use of the venue and for the refreshments provided.

He also thanked Gavin McArthur for the donation of the posters which advertised the meeting.


Approval of the Minutes

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Monday, 25 June 2007 were circulated in the Winter Newsletter and were available on the CBRRA Blog. There being no objections, the Minutes were approved.
Proposed: Bernard Schäfer
Seconded: Val Cleland


Chris welcomed the members of the Camps Bay Community Medics that were present: Ralph Lepar, Shane Fascio, Tom Kruger and Ryan Vietri and invited Ralph to address the meeting:


Camps Bay Community Medics

The Camps Bay Community Medics are a volunteer, non-profit organisation who provides their services to the community at no charge. All members of the 8-man team live in and around Camps Bay and are all qualified medics. They also assist the NSRI, Life Saving Services, Red Cross and Vodacom Rescue Services.

The Medics offer an essential service, providing assistance during the first crucial hour of any incident, stablising the patient whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive. With the traffic congestion we experience on the Atlantic Seaboard, emergency services often battle to get through quickly and this is where the Medics save vital time, as ambulances can take from 20 to 60 minutes to arrive.

The area covered is from Bantry Bay to Llundudno. During winter months approximately 30-calls are received per month. This rises in summer to 50-calls a month.

They are sponsored by Netcare 911, who provide them with a 24-hour emergency line: 021-438-HELP (4357), and ADT who provide a vehicle and fuel. Like everyone the Medics are facing increased costs and are appealing to the community for donations as they need to upgrade equipment and replace supplies like bandages, etc.

Anyone wishing to support these dedicated young men can make donations directly into their bank account:
Camps Bay Community Medics Trust:
Standard Bank (Gardens Branch)
Account #: 070095191 Branch #: 020009


City Improvement District (CID)

John Powell, Vice-Chairman, apologised as our advertised speaker, Mr Roland Roussow of the Council, had been called away on business and would not be able to address the meeting on this topic. CBRRA has received several queries regarding the formation of a CID and John felt it important that CBRRA present members with the advantages and disadvantages of a CID as the community itself needs to decide, it cannot be imposed on a community:

CID provides a top-up service over and above what is normally provided by Service Providers, at the discretion of the community. . Many people feel that we already pay for these services through our rates and should not have to pay more. Council, however, doesn’t always provide an adequate service, eg. Street cleansing. A CID can finance a more regular and effective cleansing service over and above what Council is providing.

Another issue is crime: many residents already employ the services of security companies, we have SAPS, Metro Police and now the Camps Bay Watch but security companies only look after their clients and SAPS often arrive too late. A CID could ensure a more holistic service by employing the security companies to answer all calls for an additional fee.

To form a CID, a voluntary steering committee needs to provide a business plan and market it and obtain 75% written support for it (possibly 50% shortly) before the Council will permit the CID to be started. Should it get the required support it must create a Section 21 Company (not for profit) to run the CID for a fee. This company is financed by a levy that is added to residents’ rates bill, calculated on the value of ones property, which the Council collects and then pays into the account of the CID. Rebates are available for cases of hardship.

75% support is required from ratepayers (John believes this threshold might be lowered to 50% plus 1, in the future). If ratepayers accept the proposal for the formation of a CID it then becomes compulsory whether you have supported it or not.

More time is required to discuss this topic and it is proposed that another meeting will be held next month. A tentative date of 16 July at the Bowling Club is being considered and members will be advised. A steering committee will be elected.

Questions were taken from the floor:

Q 1: A member asked why we couldn’t look after our suburb ourselves. With pensioners and civil servants facing tough financial times a CID would only benefit a few. We need to put pressure on the CTCC, the beach is used by tourists and the Council should look after it as it is their responsibility. CIDs seem to work well initially and then fall apart, with cameras not working, poor response times, etc.
A 1: John replied that CBRRA was not promoting a CID it merely felt that it needed to place the information before the decision makers, the community.

Q 2: Why is the Council considering dropping the percentage from 75% to 50%?
A 2: To make it easier for CIDs to be established.


The Chairman called on Bernard Schäfer, Chairman of the Camps Bay Community Police Forum & Camps Bay Watch and CBRRA committee member to address the meeting. Chris also thanked Bernard for all the time and effort he gives to his portfolio.


Safety & Security

Bernard thanked Chris for his kind words. He apologised for the absence of SAPS from the meeting but this was beyond their control. Officer awards, which increased morale, would be presented at the next meeting.

The CBCPF is presently experiencing an excellent working relationship with Metro, SAPS and Traffic. This is largely due to the new approach of the SAPS station head Superintendent Thomas and her colleague Inspector Poolman.

Thanks to this new relationship recent clean-up operations in the green-belt areas opposite the High School and on the edge of Bakoven have been most successful. Shacks have been removed and vagrants moved on. More clean-up operations are planned.

A road-block operation had also been carried out and, on the night in question, only one small housebreaking crime had occurred in the entire area.

SAPS and Traffic are planning to operate mobile vehicle check-points at the entry and exit points (this has been carried out successfully in Constantia/Bergvliet area) as it has been proved that zero crimes take place when check-points are manned.

CBCPF is hoping to install a camera system at the entry and exit points to Camps Bay: the Glen, Bakoven and the top of Kloof Nek. The cameras will have car licence recognition software which will help to solve crimes in record time and will act as a crime prevention tool. Unfortunately the cost of the cameras is in excess of R500,000

SAPS, working with the Department of Community Safety, are hoping to work on vagrancy issues, involving Welfare and Social Services, and hope to reach a long lasting solution.

Camps Bay Watch has now been up and running for four months with 550 members. 28 Arrests, directly linked to Camps Bay Watch, have been made. These cover housebreaking, motor vehicle thefts and drug related crimes. CBW is divided into 5-sectors with an 11-member Management Committee. New equipment and a logo will be available soon.

Overall crime is down 45% and, in some categories, is down 75% - a direct result of the Camps Bay Watch. CBW have taken over the roads and pushed the criminals to the outer perimeter. Violent robbery has been reduced to one incident every two weeks and some small thefts take place over the weekends. Unusually there has been an increase in attempted crimes, as arrests are made before the crime is actually committed. It is anticipated that crime will increase over the summer season.

Bernard gave a huge ‘thank you’ to the men and women who have joined CBW, giving of their time and making a huge difference.

Bernard felt that a mini-CID would benefit Camps Bay, providing a back-up service for the whole of Camps Bay and adjacent areas. Bernard ended with a quote from Edmund Burke: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’.

Q 3: Jane Bodin, a member of CBW, asked all members to consider joining CBW if they have not already done so. Membership is free and only two hours a month are required.


The Chairman called on Colin Carter to report back on CBRRA’s Conservation & Development initiative:

Conservation & Development

As agreed at the last General Meeting held in March 2008 a separate meeting was held to form a Conservation Sub-Committee. Twenty people volunteered to help and a number of concerns were identified:

Heritage: The CTCC is supposed to maintain a list of sites and buildings worthy of protection. This list seems to have disintegrated. We have now supplied them with our own list, photographs and historical information and are co-operating with Council in updating and completing their official list.

The question of Camps Bay being declared a Heritage Zone is being discussed with Council. There are several of these conservation areas in Cape Town. We have some 70 sites in Camps Bay worthy of conservation. To strengthen our position we are submitting an application to formally register as a Conservation Body

Traffic: The commuter traffic from Hout Bay continues to increase. Council’s solution, registered some 40 years ago, is a direct link from Camps Bay Drive (cnr Fulham Rd) to Victoria Road beyond Bakoven. We are busy trying to ascertain what Council’s intentions, if any, are.

School Playing Fields: Some 30 years ago it was agreed that Council owned ground, opposite Camps Bay Drive/Fulham Road, be exchanged for ground in Rontree owned by the Department of Education. While the Primary School has been granted use of this ground, the formal exchange has never been implemented. Action is being taken to at least ensure the Primary School’s rights.

Nature Trails & Green Areas:
At our last General Meeting a presentation by Clifton Bungalow Owners on their proposals for upgrading public property in Clifton was made. This included a proposed path along the edge of the sea from Clifton to Camps Bay. This seemed a good idea that would benefit Camps Bay as well and we have been trying to promote this concept. Clifton’s idea was to finance the path from income derived from the re-construction of the Clifton corrugated-iron garages. This seems to have got bogged down in negotiations with Council and we are trying to find other ways to implement this scheme. If successful this could be expanded to include dog walks and hiking trails up the green belts that dissect Camps Bay.

Beach Upgrading: Eight years ago the CTCC spent a lot of money on an integrated upgrading and protection plan for the Camps Bay beachfront, one of the prime tourist attractions of Cape Town. Little of this to date has been implemented. We are presently examining the plan and trying to identify a practical and financially viable way to implement this plan.

Colin appealed to members to contribute with their time, expertise and financial support to bring these efforts to fruition.


The Chairman introduced our City Councillor, Marga Haywood and asked her to explain the Ward Forum concept:


Ward Forum

Ward Forums are a platform for residents to feed their concerns to Council, to act as a conduit between the Council and the community. Initially 10 members were proposed but this has now been expanded to 20 sectors (business, education, health, etc), giving a much broader representation. Input at public meetings gets fed into the City’s Sub-Council, then Council and even to Caucus level – the needs of the community are made known.

Camps Bay is part of the Hout Bay Ward Forum. Hout Bay has many issues and, in order for Camps Bay to air its concerns, it has been agreed to hold every alternate meeting in Camps Bay with only Camps Bay and Clifton on the agenda. The Sub-Council assists by co-ordinating the meeting, sending out agendas, arranging refreshments, taking minutes, etc. Once an item is placed on the Agenda, it stays there until it is resolved. If necessary, Council officials attend meetings to explain why matters have not been resolved.

The first meeting held at the Clifton Scout Hall was well attended and several issues were raised.

Chris called on John Powell to give feedback on the Ward Forum meeting:

Clifton Parking Area: Representation has been made to Council regarding the redevelopment of this area. The Restaurant building, presently occupied by vagrants, may be put out to tender. No decision has yet been taken regarding the major parking structure which is proposed to replace the old garages and needs an EIA process before any decisions can be made.

Historic Buildings: The Round House has reopened as an exclusive 75-seater restaurant. Another restaurant will operate from the lower floor, to cater for picnics.

Rubble on Pavements: This is the responsibility of the owner or developer. If you experience a problem with this call the Law Enforcement Department, Mr Knox (021-400-4693) 08h00 – 16h30, after hours: 021-596-1999 who will issue a legal order for the rubble to be removed. (Note: the permissible building hours are 07h00 – 18h00 Monday to Saturday, not on Sundays or Public Holidays.)

Fulham Road: Phase 1 of a Rapid Transport System is being initiated by the City Council and one of the routes is between the City and Hout Bay. The route proposed is Camps Bay Drive/Houghton Road/Victoria Road. There is a road reserve which runs parallel to Fulham Road and exits onto Victoria Road, near where the curio sellers are. There is no money to develop this link at this time, which is a problem, as tourist buses coming down Camps Bay Drive, a road built over 100 years ago and voted the worst road in Cape Town, are a huge danger and entirely unsuitable for modern traffic conditions.. There are two separate projects involved here i) the upgrading of Camps Bay Drive and ii) the proposed link.

(Anyone wishing to see copies of correspondence regarding these two issues can contact John at: powelltalk@icon.co.za)

Rates: Valuers have been calling on ratepayers who lodged objections. Some have been successful and others not. The Council hopes to have cleared all objections by the end of the year. The Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance has lodged a rates audit condemning the valuations. The Council’s ‘market price’ continues to be confusing as the CTCC use different criteria to establish their market price and not only the sales prices of properties as required in the Rates Act.

Q 4: A member, living in Stern Close, reported that ratepayers in this road have been happy with the outcome of their objections.
A 4: John advised that rates accounts will be adjusted and credit balances would soon be reflected.


The Chairman called on Bernard Schäfer to inform members about the new Business Forum.

Business Forum

The old Hospitality Association which was formed years ago petered out and it was felt that the business community needed a voice in Camps Bay. It is not only the main strip that has business operations, there are some 150 businesses in Camps Bay and, if you add the guest houses and B&Bs there are more than likely over 300; people that work from home are an unknown quantity. The Camps Bay Business Forum was launched on 17th June with about 45 people attending; it will serve as a conduit to assist in improving Camps Bay with equipment, finance, etc. The next step will be to hold the first meeting when an Executive Committee can be elected.

This forum is important for Camps Bay and one of the areas where it can assist is in the applications received for liquor licences. Licensed premises can affect residents who presently do not have a say in the granting of these licences. Licensed premises can also affect other businesses.


The Chairman, Chris Willemse, gave a report back on certain planning matters:

Planning

Cnr Blinkwater & Geneva Drive: Chris reported that the CTCC had to withdraw their passed plans after our successful interdiction. However, CTCC, approved a new set of plans that were submitted (no changes to previous plans) and we have had to go back to the High Court to have these plans set aside and also to request a demolition order. The hearing was held last Thursday and we expect a decision in about a month’s time. A recent case reported in last week’s ‘Argus’ regarding a development in Walmer in Cape Town, where a neighbour took the CTCC to the Constitutional Court and won his case, has set an excellent precedent, which is good for us. Our legal team are confident of a successful outcome.

Geneva Drive: A current construction underway has proved to have a number of contraventions regarding the removal of Title Deeds. A neighbour, Dennis van der Westhuizen, is handling this himself and will welcome any offers of assistance.

Ottawa Avenue: We have a problem with agreeing on the ground level.

Crown Crescent: The owner of one of the old Swiss Cottages is putting a room in the roof of this protected building, with approved plans from the Council. Heritage Western Cape is assisting, as is Richard Kearney. CBRRA welcomes assistance from the community in these matters. Hopefully the roof will be restored.

Councillor Marga Haywood advised that there is presently a forensic audit taking place in the City’s Planning Department. Chris hopes to meet with Mayor Helen Zille later this month to discuss problems we are experiencing with the City’s Planning Department.

Q 5: A member of the audience asked about the City’s new Zoning Scheme
A 5: Chris replied that the CTCC is trying to get the entire metropolitan area onto one zoning scheme. They are presently busy with the 4th draft, which contains problems for Camps Bay, eg. They have not established ‘ground level’, etc. CBRRA is keeping a close eye on things and has submitted an objection.


A member, from the floor, expressed a vote of thanks on behalf of members to Chris and his team for all their hard work, time and effort on behalf of Camps Bay.


Finance

The Financial Statements for the year ended December 2007 were circulated with the notice of the Annual General Meeting. There being no queries the Statements were approved:
Proposed: André Jankowitz
Seconded: John Powell


Election of 2008/9 Association Committee

No nominations have been received. There are sixteen places on the committee and nine committee members are prepared to serve another two year term:

Chris Willemse
Thomas Geh
John Powell
Trudi Groenewald
Colin Carter
Johan van Papendorp
Brenda Herbert
André Janowitz
Bernard Schäfer

The Chairman appealed for volunteers from the floor.

Andrew Ford and Jane Bodin agreed to serve on the committee.

Bernard addressed members saying that Chris and John will stay on as specialists, part of a think tank to shape what happens in Camps Bay. Thanks to the pressure that John applied to the Council our valuation objections have been heard. John will not drop the ball, they will continue to help. New, enthusiastic volunteers are needed, they will find their own niche on the committee, every voice helps.

The Chairman replied that it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve for the last three years. In terms of the Constitution he cannot stand as Chairman again.

Chris also thanked Ann Caras, CBRRA’s Secretary for the past five years for her unstinting service. Ann is retiring as she has other commitments.

Chris also had a special word of thanks for John Powell, his Vice-Chairman, who has put into the rates issues a life-time of work. He also thanked his committee members and Val Cleland, who while no longer on the committee, continues to work behind the scenes on behalf of CBRRA.


General

General questions were taken from the floor:

Q 6: Can the Armed Response companies tell us what it would cost to provide security for the whole of Camps Bay?
A 6: Bernard replied that there appeared to be some confusion as to the status of the abovementioned CID. A CID is a legal vehicle allowed by Council to raise funds across the entire suburb. ADT or Bay Response could be appointed by the CID but they could not presently require all ratepayers to use their protection services. The CID is a vehicle that would make this possible.

Q 7: Jane Bodin proposed that CBRRA make a donation to the Camps Bay Community Medics.
Proposed: Jane Bodin
Seconded: Unanimous
A 7: Doug Cleland recounted an incident where he had received assistance from the Medics for an elderly visitor in his home. He said the service they provided was world-class and they deserved all the support they could get.

Q 8: A member asked why CBRRA couldn’t just increase their membership fee by R50 and donate this amount to the Medics.
A 8: André Janokowitz replied that there was provision for members to pay more if they wished to.

Q 9: A member queried a rumour regarding the new electricity tariffs: are ratepayers with pre-paid meters exempt from the higher tariff?
A 9: Councillor Haywood replied that no mention of this has been made at Council but if you use 700 units or less you will receive a 50% discount.

Q 10: A member suggested that in the next mail that CBRRA sends out they include a separate slip for the Camps Bay Community Medics with details of bank account, etc.
A 10: Agreed

Q 11: A member suggested that CBRRA try and get more publicity regarding all the illegal building work being done in Camps Bay, as this would act as a deterrent.
A 11: Chris replied that we do get good coverage when we win cases.


The Chairman thanked everyone for attending.
The meeting ended at 21h40