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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

CBRRA PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES 15 April 2015

CBRRA PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES

HELD AT The Rotunda, The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay,  15 April 2015 @ 18:50



1. WELCOME

The Chair welcomed everyone. He thanked Maree Brink and The Bay Hotel who are always most generous with their hospitality, and special thanks here to the Bay’s coordinator, Darryl Gouws and his team, for all of the arrangements. Also to Johannes Lategan who made the wine available.
He also thanked Ann Caras and Mary and Brian Lloyd who man the membership table, for their tireless efforts.
He extended a special welcome to our guest speakers Ian Bowker (Head of the City’s Road Pavement and Materials Department), Adrian Good (Ourhood smartphone app), Ian Merrington (Chair of CBW)..
He extended a warm welcome to Cllrs. Marga Haywood and Jacques Webber. They will each give a short address on matters pertaining to CB. As always, this is also an opportunity for you to address them on issues that are of concern to you, the ratepayers of Camps Bay. In Jacques case, he will address the Clifton development issue.

2. APOLOGIES AND APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MINUTES

2.1. Apologies: Johan van Pappendorp (CBRRA wishes him a speedy recovery)

2.2. Minutes for last Public meeting held 3 March 2014 was posted on the blog.  There were no queries raised and they were accordingly approved.


3.  CLOSURE OF CAMPS BAY DRIVE  
The closure of Camps Bay Drive between Geneva Drive and Rontree Ave was sprung on us last week.
The first most of us heard of this was in the press on Monday – CBRRA received official notification late on Monday afternoon – and this is simply not right. The need to upgrade the road is accepted - but that there was no attempt by the City to engage with the local civic groups as to the best manner in which to deal with the inevitable traffic chaos that will result - is unacceptable. One can only begin to imagine what the intersection at the bottom of Geneva Drive, with Camps Bay Drive, will be like in even normal conditions – with the traffic light on Victoria Rd effectively only allowing a few cars at a time to enter from Camps Bay Drive. It will be like New Years day every day!!
I’ve sent a letter to Brett Herron, the Mayco member for transport, urgently requesting a meeting between him and the local civics and hopefully, we’ll be able to at least make some contingency plans before next Monday.
On a more technical level, Mr Ian Bowker, the City’s Head of Pavement Materials and upgrading, has kindly agreed to address this meeting to explain the need for this upgrade.
Per Ian Bowker
The road surfaces and pavements are poor and the lane widths are too narrow particularly for busses.
It is now essential to widen the roads and at the same time they want to fix the road surfaces so that will last for the next 20 years.
Plan is to widen the road from its current 6 metres to 7.4 metres.  The extra 1.4 metres will be on the mountain side and the centre line will be moved 0.7 metres so each lane is 3.7 metres.
A new “lookout point” by Prima will also be created and curves in the road will be softened.
There is a very short window to do the project (must be done before October).


4.    CHAIR’S REPORT (per Chris Willemse)

4.1       Manco
I am very pleased to announce that Neil Gardner has been co-opted onto the Manco and Eban Tucker has put himself forward to serve from this meeting forward. Formal elections will only be held at the AGM in mid-year but obtaining the services of these 2 gentlemen is a massive boost to the committee.
Neil is a long-time resident of CB, having settled here in 1968.  Neil has had a long and distinguished career in the property field and brings that broader knowledge and perspective to the CBRRA in its dealings with local property matters.
Eban is known to most of Camps Bay, having served on the teaching staff at CBHS since 1977 and retiring last year as the head of department.  Eban has also served on many sporting committees in Camps Bay and he brings a wealth of local knowledge to the CBRRA Manco.
We will have to forgive him for being a Blue Bulls supporter!
The remaining 9 members remain dedicated to the task of ensuring the sustainability and well-being of Camps Bay, despite the many severe pressures placed on it but, as always at our public meetings, we need to encourage more people to volunteer their time for this essential civic function.
The Manco thus is made up of the following members:
Chris Willemse (Chair) - Ward Committee (74) and Planning
Richard Bendel (Vice Chair) - Membership and Finance 
John Powell - Ward Committee (54) and Planning
Brenda Herbert - Planning and Events and CPF
Johan van Papendorp – Planning & Environmental
Gus Millner - Membership
Alma Horn - Membership and PR
Helet Merkling - Clifton
Byron Herbert - Beach and Events
Neil Gardner
Eban Tucker

4.2       Advertising
CW asked how the community reacts to CBRRA’s advertising, i.e. surface mail vs e-mail.  The majority were happy with e-mail (which is obviously cheaper)

4.3       Buskers on the beachfront
The problem of the buskers on the beachfront has resulted in a proposal to create a formal busking area over the site of the kiddie’s paddling pool (in front of the Promenade). CBRRA’s Johan van Papendorp has sketched a very interesting plan to incorporate this area into a special focal space, which can be enjoyed by all using the beach. The proposal is sitting with the Parks branch and we await their further action.
Unfortunately, with Johan being in hospital, he cannot present the layout – but it will be posted on the CBRRA blog shortly.

4.4       Fibre optics (FO)
Wayne Smith of the CB Watch has been monitoring this roll-out obo the community and more detail can be had on the CBW website.
Basically, Telkom are the only provider to install any FO cabling and that is only over about 40% of CB and most of Clifton. It is believed that the remainder of CB might be completed by the end of the year.
The area of coverage is between Geneva Drive and Camps Bay Drive.
It must be pointed out that Telkom still has to make a physical connection from the trunk into potential subscribers’ homes.

4.5       Bowling Club / School
The Camps Bay Prep School expansion onto the bowling club land has been discussed extensively over the past few years and raised at our previous public meetings. There has been quite a lot of activity in this matter recently.
Most of you will have heard of the City’s decision to give the club 3 months notice ito its lease agreement. This was done at the end of January this year.
The CBRRA continues to attempt to facilitate a shared deal between the club and school. There continues to be positive dialogue between the two parties and the survival of the bowling club, although not assured, should certainly be possible. CBRRA firmly believes that the club has every right to exist and prosper, as it has been doing over the past few years, into the future. We will not give up and urge the school to be as flexible as possible in the negotiations.
The CBRRA continues to have concerns on 2 issues regarding this arrangement:
Firstly, will the WCED honour any agreement reached by the school in the current negotiations?
Secondly, the City has insisted that this is a 10-year non-renewable lease. This is clearly problematic to the school, which needs a more secure lease.
So, it remains very worrying to the community that the land might be sold by the City to developers after the expiry of the WCED lease. Certainly, it would be much easier to sell off City-owned land that is zoned education, rather than the process required to dispose of public open space.
In any event, the CBRRA continues to be actively engaged in this matter and regards it as most important to the future of the village.

4.6       Little Glen
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arthur Shephard publically for his Herculean efforts in upgrading the Little Glen.
If you haven’t been to the Glen lately, do yourself a favour and go and see the amazing work that has been done. Thanks Arthur.

4.7       CID / SRA
At the last meeting, Marc Truss of the Green Point City Improvement District outlined the basic workings and desirability of a CID or SRA. As you will recall, this is when a particular area votes to be registered by the City as a SRA and then effectively controls certain functions within that area through a management committee. Residents have to pay a relatively small, mandatory top up amount on their rates bill and this goes mainly to subsidize additional services connected with the so-called crime and grime problems. We continue that theme tonight and will, hopefully, make a more detailed presentation at our next meeting, including input from the Llandudno Civic Association, which has recently successfully registered such an SRA.
The need for professional control of our suburb is long overdue. It is becoming increasingly impossible, both from a time and financial point of view, to properly protect this beautiful village from crime, over-development and the general interference that does not have the area’s interests at heart. The voluntary civic groupings need a specialized management team to ensure that the will of the community is effectively managed on a day-to-day basis.
To give his perspective on this, Ian Merrington (Chair of CBW) discussed the current problems encountered by CBW (eg relying heavily on a small group of people and lack of funds) and with these problems the long term sustainability of CBW could be under threat.  By having an SRA, additional funds would be raised and additional resources would be available to ensure the safety and security of the community.

4.8       Clifton Development
The proposed Clifton development between The Ridge and Glen Beach has certainly raised many flags. Most of them a very bright red.
In a nutshell, Mayor de Lille pushed through a Council decision to commence a public participation process in this regard with, what we regard, as undue haste. Basically a month to comment on what is a very large, complex proposal. Essentially, the advert describes the interim conceptual development as being for:
·       A 3-level underground parking garage with about 750 bays (btw, the Gardens Centre has parking for 600 cars!!!);
·       about 2750m2 of commercial space including an anchor retail tenant, a limited number of boutique line shops, the possible relocation of the La Med restaurant;
·       the rationalization of the active recreational facilities in the precinct which includes the bowling greens (including the potential development of a covered bowling green), retaining the cricket oval, retaining the tennis courts;
·       conserving and enhancing the use of the natural spaces in the precinct for active recreation;

A raft of concerns have been raised by the public, with most people doubtful of the intentions of the City.
The CBRRA and the CBOA have teamed up to try to unpack what is really going on here, as the proposal is very sketchy and the sketch drawing provided not even that much of a sketch.
ENS has filed a letter of comment obo both civic groups within the short time frame available. This letter objects to the curtailed time-frame, raises issues regarding the paucity of information provided by the City and questions the whole need for such a development.

The GCC and CTC have also commented on the proposal.
It is clear that the terms of the proposal are opaque to say the least but before we go running off, fuelled by rampant speculation, we need to ascertain the real solid facts.
To this end, CBOA have appointed Janey Ball to manage its process.
Janey is famous, along with Bennie Rabinowitz, for the successful challenge to the development of the Sea Point pavilion under the banner of Seafront for All. CBRRA hopes to dovetail into this arrangement.
Neil Gardner has, with the help of his son John, very speedily got a website (www.sosclifton.org) up and running, which will give you the factual background to the matter as it stands now. In time it will be expanded to include not only updates but hopefully be interactive as well.
This is a major challenge to our open spaces and support and funding will be crucial if we are going to be effective in retaining our green heritage for the benefit of all of CT’s residents and tourists.
Dave Marais, the City’s Property Development representative was welcomed to stage and gave the City’s side of this matter.  Some aspects he mentioned were the need for the city to get a decent return on their assets, develop this area that is under-utilised and looking in a shoddy state amongst others.  There were a lot of questions posed to him from the floor mostly raising concerns and objections for the way the process has been done as well as what is currently envisaged. 
After Dave Marais spoke, Chris asked for a Mandate from the community to support the CBRRA Manco to challenge Council on this matter.  This mandate was overwhelmingly received with just about everyone in support.

5.         OURHOOD
Chris welcomed Adrian Good from Ourhood which is a community based app that can be downloaded on smartphones. Adrian discussed how the app worked and the benefits to any community.  All residents were invited to download the app and register.  The more people in the community who register, the more the benefits will be.

6.        COUNCILLOR’S REPORT
Our 2 Councillors (Jacques Weber – Ward 54) and Marga Haywood (Ward 74) gave an update of what had been happening in their respective Wards.

7.        PLANNING
On the planning front, Chris emphasised that it was important to consult with the CBRRA planning subcommittee before signing off on neighbours’ plans. We are here to help you.
Chris mentioned that the volume of applications is steadily increasing and that we are noticing a tendency to request a raft of departures, title deed removals and consent uses. It almost seems as if the Zoning Scheme is there to establish the minimum parameters of a design, rather than the maximum.
The CBRRA responds to every non-compliant application and files a letter of comment in every case. This is followed up with further representations at Subcouncil level. So, all in all – a lot of work…but it has to be done. Which is why we ask for volunteers….
8.         FINANCE (Richard Bendel)

Richard Bendel gave a brief overview of the current cash position of the CBRRA and the latest with regards the Harrison matter. 
With regards the Harrison matter, CBRRA now has a taxed bill of R294k owing to Council (with interest accruing from November 2014).  Of this, CBRRA has already paid a lumpsum of R150k meaning about R150k is still owing.  We have proposed paying this off at R60k per annum so it should be paid within 3 years.  After the payment of the R150k, we have a cash balance of R130k.
We also owe Harrison an amount of between R75k – R95k (the taxed bill was R75k, but Harrison has taken this on review, but we have been advised that the maximum it can be is R95k).
We currently have about 300 paid up members and we urge all ratepayers and residents to make their nominal annual contribution.
Due to the Clifton Development matter mentioned above, we are looking to set up a separate fund to raise money for this

8.              MATTERS ARISING

None were raised.

9               GENERAL

There were no further questions from the floor.

The Chair thanked everyone for coming and declared the meeting closed.


MEETING CLOSED AT 20:35

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Cape Times: Solutions demanded on sewage disposal

Cape Times23 Jun 2015
Melanie Gosling Environment Writer


A GROUP of 160 civic organisations has urged the Department of Environmental Affairs to refuse the City of Cape Town’s application to continue pumping raw sewage into the Atlantic – unless the City comes up with a plan to phase out sewage-to-sea outfalls.
The Greater Cape Town Alliance, an umbrella body of 160 civic, environmental, ratepayer and resident groups, said the time had come for “new, innovative, environmentally friendly solutions” for sewage disposal.
“These outfalls were built 25 or more years ago, when there was less knowledge about the harmful effects of raw sewage in the sea, and the quantities were very much lower than today. We cannot believe the city is unaware of the well-documented discovery of raw sewage floating off Camps Bay/Green Point by kayakers and divers”, the alliance wrote.
The City is required to get public comment when applying to the national government for a discharge permit. The renewal permits apply to the sewerage outfall pipes in Green Point, Camps Bay and Hout Bay.
Unlike other areas in the city where sewage is treated in sewerage works before the effluent is discharged, the sewage that goes out in these three pipes is not treated in this way. Mesh removes the “rubbish” such as plastic, rags and other material.
The Hout Bay outfall pipe is about 2.2km long, the Green Point pipe 1.7km and Camps Bay pipe 1.5km. The idea is that the pipes are long enough for currents to disperse and dilute the sewage.
However, surfers and kayakers have said there are times when the sewage comes back towards the shore.
Surfer Greg Bertish said yesterday: “In winter, the westerlies often blow it back, or a big swell. You see it floating around, a mass of stuff all congealed with a bad smell.
“I put it at the back of my mind because I like to surf there, but some guys won’t. I have had a bacterial infection which attacked a heart valve, and other surfers have got hepatitis.”
Gavin Smith, of the Alliance, said yesterday many cities discharged raw sewage to sea, but there were also cities that had advanced to better solutions.
“The City is not going to find the millions to rectify this overnight. The only way to get them moving is for Environmental Affairs to turn down their permit, or make it conditional that the City starts developing a long-term plan to move away from dumping raw sewage at sea,” Smith said.
The City’s permit application speaks of anticipated sewage flows until 2030, an indication that this system will be in place for at least another 15 years.
The City said anticipated volumes of sewage to sea at Hout Bay are 11 300m3 a day, at Camps Bay 3 500m3 a day and at Green Point 35 900m3 a day.
Jo Barnes, from Stellenbosch University’s community of health department, said she pitied the officials involved as they had not created the problem – but neither were they looking for alternatives.
“The engineers’ mantra is ‘the solution to pollution is dilution’. But do this for a century and it starts to accumulate. Overseas research has found contaminated sediments 3km from outfall pipes.
“The City needs to plan for the long term. What are they going to do with population growth and city densification?”
The City has said there was no other economically viable alternative other than discharging the sewage to the sea. The cost of pumping the sewage to the nearest treatment works at Athlone would be “enormous and cannot be justified”.
It said the environmental effects of the sewage to sea were “insignificant” or “minimal”.
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said yesterday: “Given budgetary constraints and needs elsewhere in the city, it is unlikely that we will accelerate towards upgrading these facilities.
“The City does, however, continually look into the feasibility of any new innovations and technologies.”
Marine pollution is in the news, and not only because the world’s attention was drawn to it on 8th June ‘World Oceans Day’, but because the City of Cape Town municipality is in the process of applying for a permit to continue spewing millions of liters of raw sewerage every day into the sea around Cape Town.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In applying for this permit the City of Cape Town is required to obtain public comment. The application is specific to the marine sewer outfalls at Hout Bay, Camps Bay and Green Point. The comment period began on the 1st June and ends on 10th July 2015.
Comment, input or recommendation can be submitted via:
Fax to 021 423 9540
Written submission can be posted to P.O Box 16548 Vlaeberg 8018

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Letter: Budget Blues for Ratepayers

Budget Blues Indeed!
POSTED BY WEBWOLLY, ON MAY 15TH, 2015

In response to your article in the ECHO dated 30 April 2015 ‘Budget Blues for city ratepayers’ refers.
The fuel levy reduction Nielson refers to is the so-called “Equitable Share” which flows from the national budget and is funded from national fuel levy income. So he is saying that the Treasury has reduced Cape Town’s slice of the cake – (worthwhile checking this) however, it is supposed to fund services to the indigent people. Cape Town is already very generous in this regard and spends much more than what Treasury doles out.
The Equitable Share, is supposed to be based on the fuel levy collected within a geographic area, but the formula is biased in that the very last component is a variable, either plus or minus. So, pro ANC Metros get a plus which comes off Cape Town’s, which gets a minus.
Nielson is saying Treasury has reduced Cape Town’s equitable share, therefore CT needs to find revenue elsewhere. And Nielson basically says, forget about cutting less cloth, the taxpayer has no option but to cough up. The City is not aiming to reduce its largess to potential voters.
One can raise all kinds of questions about the bloated civil service, increases in number of employees and contractors, and whether outputs have increased commensurately. Where is the bang for the buck?
Big businesses, the banks and insurance companies, have all gone through Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) exercises to trim expenses, and have since gone through repeated cycles of the same. That is how they trim excess fat, and become lean and profitable. In addition to that, there is Activity Based Costing to establish the real cost of each function. From there, the next step is to decide the economic value of each function, and whether it is indeed necessary. It follows that one can then also define every post within the organization determine the job specs, and especially the required employee specs and remuneration bands.
Cape Town should be run as a proper business and this is what we the shareholders (ratepayers) demand. The solution to this ever increasing expenditure and extravagance is to create a viable opposition to the DA in the City Council, sufficiently so as to force discussion of expenditure votes and to expose chummy deals.
Finally, salaries are negotiated by SALGA (SA Local Government Association),and is binding on all municipalities. However, productivity is never negotiated. This is where my argument of the bloated civil service comes in. Of course Nielson will duck and dive on this topic!
Len Swimmer
Deputy Chairman
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF ARTHUR SHEPHARD


CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF ARTHUR SHEPHARD

A celebration of the life of Arthur Shephard will be held on 

Thursday 11 June 
at 16:30 
The Rotunda, The Bay Hotel, in Camps Bay 

Everyone is most welcome. 
Parking is available from the Camps Bay Sports Club parking lot.