ACHIEVEMENTS what CBCRA do in the community
BECOME A MEMBER and raise the level of community spirit
SEND US your suggestions and comments
READ MORE about City of Cape Town’s activities & policies
FAULT REPORT system introduced by the City Council
VISIT Waste Control for more details about your recycling

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sub-Council Graffiti By-Law


The incidence of Graffiti in the City has increased exponentially in recent years and continues to grow. Graffiti can cause unsightliness of property and the undeterred spread thereof signals that no one cares and therefore actually invites further disorder and ultimately crime.

Although the spread of Graffiti is to some extent being successfully combated in the City centre for instance, it is becoming increasingly visible in the bigger metropolitan area. Current efforts include those by various City Directorates to remove Graffiti from their own assets as well as City Improvement Districts (CID's) taking it upon themselves to remove Graffiti.

These efforts do, however, not include law enforcement action and do therefore not keep pace with the wider spread of Graffiti. This perceived inaction creates the impression that the offences of Graffiti vandals are being tolerated.

The Safety & Security Portfolio Committee accordingly requested that an appropriate By-Law be drafted and that a Graffiti Control Strategy be developed. Extensive research was done on how other cities around the world deal with Graffiti and the Draft By-Law therefore reflects international best practice.

It is important to note that the Safety & Security Directorate is mindful of the fact that not all forms of Graffiti are destructive in nature and that mural art can in fact contribute to the beautification of an area. The Draft By-Law therefore provides adequately for those practising such art forms.

The Public Participation Process

The Draft By-Law has been finalized, scrutinized by the City's legal department and is now subjected to the prescribed Public Participation Process which spans from 20 July to 8 September 2009. The process includes invitation for public comment placed in corporate and community newspapers, publishing the draft on the City's internet website, having copies available for viewing at all libararies and Sub Council offices, sending individual invitations to identified interest groups for comment and arranging for the matter to serve before all Sub Councils.

It is accordingly proposed that the Sub Council contributes to the public participation process by inviting public comment and arranging for any comments and concerns on the draft by-law to be submitted as required.

Please download the Draft Graffiti By-Law ‹‹here›› and submit your comments in writing by fax or e-mail to Anton Visser on 021 400 5923 or before 8 September 2009.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
of the Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association held on 22 June 2009 at the Rotunda, The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay 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.

1. Attendance

Trudi Groenewald (Chair), Cllr M Haywood, Cllr T Amira, John Powell, Chris Willemse, Jane Bodin, Brenda Herbert. An attendance register was circulated and signed by 120 people.

2. Apologies

Ann Caras, Colin Carter, Tony & Pru Hare, Dimitri Karakondis, Johan van Papendorp, Cllr J P Smith, David Taylor.

3. Chairperson’s Report (Trudi Groenewald)
  • Thanks were given to Colin Carter, John Powell and Chris Willemse for help with the chairman’s duties when she had been away for two months.
  • It had been difficult without a secretary following the resignation last year of Ann Caras but the management committee plans to reorganize the way it works to make it more effective.
  • Thanks were given to Johan van Papendorp for ensuring that CBRRA was registered as a conservation body.
  • Thanks were given to Alma Horn for rejuvenating the CBRRA blogspot
  • Plans for a beach upgrade had not materialized, the money had been spent on pedestrian crossings.
  • Ward Forum – Camps Bay competed for attention among the more desperate matters in the Greater Hout Bay context and the more representatives of Camps Bay that attended these meetings the better.
  • There was ongoing liaison with the Good Hope Sub Council sub council thanks to John Powell.
  • On finance, thanks were given to the treasurer Mary Lloyd. The Association had new auditors, Haak Fourie Snyman. Dedicated individuals had provided CBRRA with the means of continuing its court case, for which loans CBRRA expressed its grateful thanks.
  • Membership stood at 600 – not all paid up – and thanks were given to Dimitri Karakondis for his membership drive.
  • Planning as always involved a tremendous amount of work. 15 planning agreements had been signed up between neighbours, owners and developers – for which Chris Willemse was thanked.
  • The date for the hearing in the Supreme Court of Appeal re the Harrison case had been set down for August.
  • The management committee had lost four members – Colin Carter, Bernard Schafer (because of the changed relationship between CBRRA and safety and security organizations), Thomas Geh and Andrew Jankovich (whose work had taken him abroad). However, Colin Carter had indicated that he was available for special projects. The chairperson made an appeal for more members of the community to come forward and volunteer their services on the management committee, even if only for specific tasks. Retiring members were thanked.

4. Safety, Security and Beach Events

4.1 Safety and Security (John Powell)

Safety and security was not on the constitution of the CBRRA as a core activity. Some two or three years ago Bernard Schafer was invited onto the CBRRA committee. He revived the Camps Bay Community Police Forum (CBCPF) and started Camps Bay Watch (CBW), as well as developing the Camps Bay Communi8ty Security Initiative (CBCSI). Bernard Shafer was thanked for all his good work In April it was agreed by both CBRRA and the above security group that CBRRA and the security groups now act independently of each other. CBRRA believed it more logical that law enforcement, beach security, vagrancy, traffic and related issues such as car guards be tackled by the other community security organizations although it would continue to keep in touch.

4.2 Chairman of the Community Police Forum and Operations Manager of CBCSI (Bernard Shafer)
  • Bernard Shafer stressed the importance of the various bodies concentrating on their areas of specialization.
  • The next meeting devoted to safety and security was 18.30 Monday 13 July 2009 at the Rotunda and he urged everyone to attend.

4.3 Chairman of Camps Bay Watch (Ian Merrington)
  • Camps Bay Watch now has 1200 members, 300 of which are businesses and there are 400 active patrollers.
  • There would continue to be strong liaison with CBRRA.

4.4 Community Events / Licences (John Powell)
  • John Powell advised that comments back to the council would come from CBRRA while safety and security aspects would be left to the security organizations.
  • CBRRA would continue to co-operate in monitor granting of liquor licenses.

5. Guest Speakers

5.1 Chairman of the Good Hope Sub Council (Cllr Taki Amira)
  • In the coming weeks there will be several documents published ready for public comment.
  • The most important of these will be the fifth and final draft of the new Cape Town Zoning Scheme.
  • Cllr Amira stressed the valuable role of ratepayer organizations and was himself a great proponent of public participation.
  • Security Huts – in the previous week he had chaired a meeting of interested parties including CBRRA and the CBCSI. Basically security huts were illegal but the previous mayor had agreed a moratorium on the demolition of illegal huts until a new municipal bylaw was in place to control them. Any new regulations would apply across the whole of the municipality not just Camps Bay. The Dept of Transport and Roads had been given the responsibility to come up with guidelines for a new bylaw and they would be coming back in August, until which time matters were postponed.

5.2 Cllr Marga Haywood
  • Cllr Haywood thanked the members of Ward 74 (which includes Camps Bay) for a 30% increase in votes for the DA at the general election.
  • She stressed the very important role of civic organizations. Meetings of the Good Hope Sub Council now took place at 44 Wale Street.
  • Regarding the loosening of ties between CBRRA and the security organizations, she found this totally logical. There were three spheres of government – national, provincial and local. Civilian oversight of the police came under national competence, while ratepayers and residents associations were local competence.

6. Presentation by Camps Bay Community Medics (Ralph Lepar and Shane Fascio)

  • CBCM had been set up eleven years ago as a free service to the residents and visitors of Camps Bay. They aimed to arrive at the scene of an emergency within 5 to 10 minutes. In South Africa only 30% of ambulance calls were answered within 20 minutes.
  • CBCM was in the process of registering as a PBO so that donors were eligible for tax relief.
  • The association is setting up a data base to allow residents the option of having certain medical details easily accessible to CBCM to facilitate the best treatment in an emergency without delay.
  • A member of the audience pointed out that CBCM needed financial support from the general public to continue and expand this very valuable service.

7. Minutes

7.1 Approval of Minutes of AGM 23 June 2008
Proposed: Cllr M Haywood
Seconded: Doug Cleland
Carried unanimously

7.2 Approval of Minutes of Public Meeting 23 February 2009
Proposed: John Powell
Seconded: Theo de Rijk
Carried unanimously

8. Matters Arising

Camps Bay Police Station – Bernard Shafer had asked permission to use the public open space next to the Police Station for temporary accommodation. As yet there was no response from the Council. The fate of the police station and possible new premises was an ongoing matter.

9. Financial Report (John Powell)
  • Copy of the financial report attached to these minutes.
  • Cash in hand at December 2008 was R80,000.
  • The association had incurred a debt of R570,000 in legal fees, mainly in fighting the Harrison case. In was thanks to certain individuals who had made loans to the Association that CBRRA had been able to continue to take the fight to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

10. Amendments to the CBRRA Constitution

A number of minor alterations are needed to the constitution in order to enable CBRRA to obtain PBO status. These would be advertised and tabled at the next CBRRA public meeting.

11. Oudekraal Development Prospects (John Powell)
  • See separate report attached to these minutes ‹‹here››.
  • The meeting was not being asked to comment or vote at this meeting because of the early stage of events.

12. Special Rates Areas and City Improvement Districts (John Powell)
  • In terms of the Rates Act of 2004 there is the option for property owners in a clearly defined geographical area to raise levies to top up services. Previously known as City Improvement Districts, these are now referred to as Special Rates Areas.
  • Some years ago attempts were made to turn the whole of Camps Bay into a CID. CIDs were never designed for residential areas and it was rejected.
  • CBRRA is not pushing for the establishment of an SRA. However, if in due course a committee was formed to try and achieve this CBRRA would assist where it could.
  • CIDs were based on a percentage of rates. SRAs could be more flexible and allow property owners to claim relief.
  • Read more about SRA's ‹‹here››

13. Planning & Heritage – Working to Ensure Sensitive Developments (Chris Willemse)

13.1 A number of examples of the problems faced by residents of Camps Bay and CBRRA were given.
  • 17 Ottawa Avenue – exceeded height restrictions, Council now asking owner to rectify plans/building to ensure compliance.
  • 17 Geneva Drive – recently renovated house that has suddenly became three separate units. CBRRA still negotiating with owner.
  • 24 Geneva Drive – this is a six floor building with plans had been incorrectly approved by Council. An adjoining neighbour, Dennis van der Westhuizen, with the support of the CBRRA successfully applied to the Western Cape High Court for an order interdicting the developer from any further onstruction on the site. This order is still in place.
  • Harrison House, Cnr Geneva Drive and Blinkwater Road – case to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein on 25 August 2009. The City of Cape Town had decided to oppose this appeal. Individuals who had made loans CBRRA to enable it to continue legal proceedings were thanked. CBRRA is grateful to its advocates who are working on the appeal on a contingency basis.
  • 35 Upper Tree Road – a completely unsuitable building was being constructed. Neighbours were appealing to the high court for an interdict.
  • 30 Ottawa Avenue – CBRRA negotiating an agreement between the neighbours and the developer.
  • 2 Woodhead Close – a renovation now comprised two “basements” plus three floors. Neighbours had objected and obtained a High Court interdict to stop construction on the top floor. Revised plans had been submitted and it appears that the Council will approve these plans, even though there is no material difference with the previously approved plans. The owner had continued to build in defiance of the interdict and is now being sued by the neighbours for contempt of court.
  • 5 Petrel Close – again an additional floor had been designated a basement and plans approved.

13.2 General Comments
  • Position of City of Cape Town
    The City Council were constantly trying to defend their own planners and, in the opinion of the speaker, developers. CBRRA were urging their elected representatives to put political pressure, especially to withdraw from the Harrison case.
  • Agreements
    In this calender, thus far, year CBRRA had negotiated 15 agreements between owners, developers and neighbours. The number of planning applications had reduced from approximately three to four a week month to about three a month.
  • Camps Bay
    was growing and it would densify particularly due to the scarcity and the value of the land. The change should be managed to ensure sensitive development. CBRRA was there as an arbiter.
  • A recent ruling
    by the Supreme Court of Appeal relating to a Johannesburg matter, had clarified grounds on which the local authorities must treat derogation from value of neighbouring properties and general suitability. The SCA ruled that you can not derogate from the value of your neighbours' property if you're building within all applicable laws, except in very exceptional circumstances.
  • Cllr J P Smith,
    outgoing Chair, was thanked for his support in matters relating to the Good Hope Sub Council.

14. The Next Municipal Rates Revaluation (John Powell)

  • The council could revalue property ratable values every four years. However it is entitled to execute a revaluation within a shorter period and has announced that the new valuations would run from 1 July 2009 with billing based on the revised values on 1 July 2010.
  • If a property value were to reduce it would not necessarily result in a reduction in rates payable because the council could increase the rate in the rand to enable it to pay for an ever increasing budget.
  • CBRRA is going to publish a guide to new municipal rates valuations by John Powell, (available from, att John Powell)

15. Election of Management Committee for 2009/2010

The following, all members of the current management committee, were willing to stand:-
Jane Bodin, Trudi Groenewald, Brenda Herbert, Dimitri Karakondis, John Powell, John van Papendorp, Chris Willemse.

Mary Lloyd was willing to continue as treasurer

An appeal was made for volunteers from those present.

Acceptance of those willing to stand:
Proposed: Val Cleland
Seconded: Pieter Visser
Carried unanimously

16. General

Thanks were given to the management of The Rotunda for use of the venue and refreshments.

The meeting closed at 21h30.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Review of the City's 5 Year Plan 2007/8 - 2011/12

Integrated Development Planning & Budget

The City of Cape Town’s Five-year Plan (the Integrated Development Plan - IDP - & budget) was approved by Council on 30 May 2007. This plan guides the City’s strategic planning for the period 2007–2012, and must be reviewed annually in terms of the Municipal Systems Act (MSA), No. 32 of 2000. The City is about to commence its third review of the Five-year Plan (IDP). As the plan is ultimately meant to ensure the best possible service delivery to you, the residents of Cape Town, we value your participation in our annual review process.

This year, the envisaged timeline for the process is as follows:

To prepare for public consultation, communities will be able to identify existing priorities and receive information on developments in their respective wards during August 2009.

In August/September 2009, the City will consult the public, and will present briefings to ward forums, sector bodies and stakeholders in each of the City’s eight planning districts. This phase will also include consultation with other spheres of government to ensure that our plans are in line with sector-specific programmes.

During October 2009 the City will consider and respond to all comments on the abovementioned sessions received via our subcouncil offices, or by fax or e-mail.

In February/March 2010, you will have an opportunity to comment on the 2008/9 Annual Report, whereafter the 2008/9 Annual Oversight Report will be tabled to Council for approval.

The Mayoral Committee and Council will receive a draft IDP Review and Budget for consideration in March/April 2010. At this stage, these documents will be made available for final public comment as well.

It is envisaged that Council will give final approval for the 2010/11 IDP and Budget in the course of May 2010.

Of course, these documents are meaningless without well-monitored implementation. Therefore, once we have consulted you and have received Council’s approval, the updated objectives and targets of the IDP Review and Budget will be included in the scorecards of key senior officials, the Service Delivery & Budget Implementation Plan, as well as the performance agreements of members of the Executive Management Team. These are all monitoring mechanisms to ensure that we achieve our goals.

For a copy of the detailed IDP Review & Budget time schedule for 2009/10, please visit your subcouncil office, or go to

For more information on the review process,
please phone 021 400 1346,
send a fax to 021 400 4909,
or e-mail us on

Download the bulletin from CCT IDP on these links below:

Friday, 10 July 2009

New Municipal Rates Valuation Jul 09

The Cape Town City Council is intending to execute its new municipal general revaluation of all properties on 1 July 2009.

This will mean that, some time between that date and about February 2010, you will be receiving in the post, the City’s provisional new valuation on your property which it will use in its rates bills to you as from July 2010. The whole public participation response process therefore starts when you receive notification of your new provisional valuation.

What can / should you be doing when you receive your new rates revaluation?

You should commence by establishing the factors / characteristics of your property which you can use to motivate a reduction in the valuation should you feel that you have been overvalued.

Typical examples could be : a Council registered water course (piping or a river) - immense rocks which eliminate your ability to develop further on your property as owners around you can with double / second dwellings, granny flats and the like - the presence of a six-metre wide overloaded Provincial registered trunk road (say Camps Bay Drive) on your front boundary which has dangerously speeding traffic and causes you difficulty in accessing / leaving your property by car for some hours during rush hours - the exposure to high winds and possible harm from fires in adjacent public open space, etc.

Other examples could be: a Council electrical or drainage servitude running through your property, a lack or loss of views compared with surrounding properties – steeply sloping sites - irregularly shaped sites inhibiting the ability to develop them properly or take advantage of the available view - south facing house - excessive distance from shops, schools, beach etc. necessitating wheeled transport for every journey – obliteration of views by adjacent building structures and so on

Once you have received your Council revaluation notice and before you rush into submitting an objection because you think it is too high, ask yourself whether you would have been prepared to sell your property in July 2009 (the date of the revaluation) for an amount less than the Council’s revaluation now presented to you in 2010. Only if you would have been prepared to have accepted a lower selling price (including the Selling Agent’s fees and VAT), should you then consider deciding whether to consult a qualified Valuer who will then be able to advise you as to whether your suggested lower valuation is valid.

Should you decide to approach a Valuer for professional advice, first request a fee quotation (probably on an hourly rate basis) before investigating with him / her as to whether your contention that the revaluation is too high. If the Valuer disagrees with you, you have at least been given a quick and reasonably inexpensive professional opinion upon which you can decide whether to proceed with your objection or not. Should you be advised to or should you decide to proceed, you should then appoint the Valuer to assist you with your objection to the Valuation Court.

Estate Agents are also able to assist you with your objection and can help you considerably by presenting you with their written assessment of what your property would have sold for in mid-2009.

The objection document is a very daunting document. CBRRA therefore suggests that you do not submit an objection without a technically correct motivation which is well prepared with professional help.

In due course, the City will open information centres around the Unicity at which you will find details of all the registered sales of properties in the vicinity of your property, which details will assist you in the compilation of your objection should you be wanting to submit one.

The South African Institute of Valuers can assist you with names of Valuers (Address c/o J.J.Hofmeyr & Sons, 13 Piers Road, Wynberg, 7800. Telephone 021 7611803).

Remember that if you live in a sectional title apartment block, you will again be billed separately and directly for your unit and not in your levy which reflects a proportion of the overall building rates bill. Contact your property managers about this immediately.

One way or the other, be aware of your rights and start preparing to possibly pay more rates than the normal annual increase in due course, the extent of which will only be revealed to you after the forthcoming Council rates revaluation notice which you will be receiving in due course.

If you have not yet had finalisation of your objection to the July 2006 revaluation, telephone Mr. Christopher Gavor, the City’s Director of Valuations at 021 400 1111.

Should you have any queries, please contact John Powell at

Extract from the Constitution of the GCTCA

Extract from the Constitution of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance


1. The name shall be THE GREATER CAPE TOWN CIVIC ALLIANCE, henceforth referred to as “The Alliance”.


2. The Alliance shall be a voluntary association which represents residents, ratepayers, civics and other interest groups within Cape Town, that are concerned with matters of government local and other spheres and are not aligned to any political party or other structure with a separate existence from their constituent members.


3. The Alliance is a “universitas personarum”, an independent legal persona or entity, distinct from the individuals who comprise it, having the capacity of acquiring rights of property, of incurring obligations and of suing or being sued in its own name and having perpetual succession, and neither members nor the Executive Committee shall be answerable for the debts or engagements of the Association.


4. The area of The Alliance shall be the municipal area administered by the CITY OF CAPE TOWN.


5. The objectives of The Alliance shall be the following:

5.1 To protect and promote the interests of its members in regard to objectives 5.2 and 5.3

5.2 To obtain membership of any forum or similar body established for the discussion of, or negotiations on, the constitutional status of local government.

5.3 To make representations to and, where relevant, to gain access to any forum, committee, federation or like body established for the discussion of, or required to deal with, the constitutional, financial or organisational changes to government with the purpose of ensuring that any such changes to government in the area covered by The Alliance furthers the interests of its constituent members.

5.4 To work for and promote the recognition of The Alliance as a body whose prior participation in the decision process would first be sought to ensure the favourable outcome of government decisions affecting its area.

5.5 To set up effective public participation systems to ensure effective participation by the people in planned and proposed government processes.

5.6 The Alliance shall not normally concern itself with any issue which is parochial or peculiar to a member’s area unless the principles involved could affect other members, or unless support on an issue or issues is so requested by the affected area’s chairperson.


6. The members of The Alliance shall be those bodies that are ratepayers, tenants, residents, non-politically aligned civics associations or other bodies constituted for similar purposes, which are not members of any other regional or national body with aims or objects conflicting with those of The Alliance, and which;

6.1 Have a constitution with the aim or object of promoting its members’ interests in local government;

6.2 Have a provable list of members in good standing;

6.3 Accept the objectives of The Alliance and this Constitution by a minuted resolution at a properly constituted general meeting of its members.

6.4 Notwithstanding that membership is restricted to organisations as referred to in 6 above, each member Body may be represented at any meeting of the Alliance whether General or Executive by not more that two participating members, excluding observing members and providing that those two members are duly mandated to represent the body they belong to.

6.5 It is hereby recorded that membership of The Alliance is granted to a member organisation and that the individuals so representing that organisation are understood to speak for and on behalf of their parent body and so carry that body’s mandate to express their views.

7. The bodies, which have attested to this Constitution, shall be the members of The Alliance together with any body that is admitted as a member in terms of Clause 8.

8. 8.1 After the founding of The Alliance, any body which applies for membership shall, if it qualifies in terms of the provisions of Clause 6, be admitted as a member, excepting that The Alliance reserves the right to associate or disassociate itself with any other body in accordance with the provision of this Constitution.

8.2 It is hereby noted that the Ratepayers, Civics and Residents Associations that caused the formation The Alliance in June 2005 are automatically accepted as full members of The Alliance and, by virtue of their involvement in the inaugural meetings of the Association, hereby bind themselves to this Constitution.

CBBRA was a founding member of the GCTCA which was formed to respond to the drafts of the forthcoming new Cape Town Integrated Zonng Scheme and which has spread its attentions to a wide variety if issues concerning Ratepayers’ and Residents’ interests in their dealings with Municipal, Provincial and National Departments related to property and services matters. The GCTCA represents over 120 Civic Associations.

For copies of the Audit and the City’s replies, contact John Powell at

For further details of the GCTCA’s activities contact its Vice-Chairperson, Dr. Graham Noble at

Audit of CCT Jul '06 General Valuation

Ratepayers' / Residents' Audit of CCT Jul '06 General Valuation (GV)
- Prepared by the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance (GCTCA)

In February 2007, The City of Cape Town published its new provisional Valuation Roll for Ratepayers’ responses / objections in preparation for the new rates bills it proposed sending to ratepayers in July 2007.

The new valuations were based on the City’s assessed market values of all types of properties as at 1 July 2006, and sample sales properties were used to interpolate the comparative values of unsold properties. Ratepayers were given 30 days within which to object, which period the GCTCA managed to increase to sixty days.

Various information centres were established to assist ratepayers in the compilation of their objections, the only information available being the sales prices and erven areas of properties which had been sold around that time. Resulting from the widely differing and seemingly inconsistent valuations and rates bills which ratepayers eventually received the GCTCA embarked upon an audit of the City’s 2006 General Valuation (GV).

This audit has taken over two years to complete, submit, reply to the City’s answers and meet with City officials in an attempt to ascertain how the City compiled its 2006 GV and what it has learned from its last two GVs it has executed and what it has learned from the extensive GCTCA audit and the critical audit which was carried out by IPTI (the Canadian International Property Tax Institute).

At the same time it examined the City’s 2007 rates policy which was accompanying the valuations in order to establish a holistic impression as to how the end result of the rates formula (property valuation times the Rate in the Rand thereupon) would affect all ratepayers regardless of where they lived in the Unicity.

The above audit was prepared because there had been a widespread impression amongst ratepayers, residents and property owners generally that the quality and accuracy of the City’s 2006 GV left much to be desired. The GCTCA submitted its audit on 21 February 2008 to Mayor Helen Zille and her officials, Ian Neilson (MAYCO Finance), Mike Richardson (City Financial Officer) and Chris Gavor (City Valuer).

The City’s inadequate (in the GCTCA’s opinion) written reply to the audit was dated on 10 April 2008. The GCTCA submitted further questions and a response to the last mentioned document on 2 June 2008, at the same time requesting further meetings / workshops etc. and ongoing discussions.

A meeting was eventually granted to the GCTCA in November 2008, at which the majority of the GCTCA’s concerns were discussed with Messrs. Richardson and Gavor. Areas of concern contained in the GCTCA audit included the uneven experience of ratepayers in different areas, regardless of the economic levels of the areas concerned.

For example, the City claimed that its 2006 GV had been a successful valuation because there had only been about 5% objections. The true analysis of this claim showed that of about 750 000 properties valued, 16% received reduced valuations, 50% received increased valuations by not exceeding 15%, 27% increased by between 15% and 39%, 5% increased between 305 and 40%. And 2% increased by more than 40% some even up to 325%! Assuming that nobody whose valuations had increased by more than 15% would object, only about one third of the above total valuations would be objected to, ie ±255 000 divided by ± 35 000 actual objections = ± 18%, which was far in excess of the City’s claimed 5%.

The above high increases did not only occur in wealthy areas – the Bokaap being an example of such a situation where real hardship has resulted from the 2006 GV revised valuations. Other concerns included a difference of opinion with the City as to the proper interpretation of the basic component of the rates formula, the definition of “market value” as defined by the 2004 Municipal Property Rates Act, the unwillingness of the City to adopt a ‘‘banding” valuation system and the lack of bigger rebates for indigent ratepayers at the bottom income earning levels.

It is regrettable for the GCTCA to have to state that, following the foregoing exchange of correspondence and discussions between the City and the GCTCA, the extensive efforts put into the audit achieved very little of note which could convince the GCTCA that the City had benefited or learnt anything which it considered would improve the quality of its next GV.

The City, having only recently completed its objection process (although Valuation Court appeals are still continuing over two years after the last GV roll was published), has now chosen to execute its next GV to be valid as at 1 July 2009 – one whole year earlier than is permitted in terms of the 2004 Municipal Property Rates Act (2004 MPRA).

In its discussions with the City, the GCTCA has not heard of any sound reasons as to why the City is executing this next GV so prematurely and GCTCA pleas against this happening have been ignored. This concern is compounded by the fact that the GCTCA is not convinced that the valuations methods which will be used in this forthcoming GV are going to be any better than the allegedly inadequate methods used in the 2006 GV.

The City was proud of the audit executed by IPTI on the 2006 GV, but when it, after considerable pressure from the GCTCA, eventually gave the GCTCA a copy, it was obvious that , in actual fact, the IPTI report was critical of the GV in many aspects.

The objection adjudication process is still continuing in the Valuation Courts at present, three years after the publishing of the 2006 GV Valuation Roll. And yet, the City is determined for reasons which the GCTCA cannot understand to bring the next GV forward by a year to 1 July 2009, for billing to ratepayers in July 2010. The GCTCA remains to be convinced that the City’s valuation resources are adequate for this self-imposed shortened valuation process which will assuredly impinge upon its ability to improve on its last GV achievements which left a lot of room for improvements.

The essence of the GCTCA’s problems is that every Ratepayer acknowledges that he / she will pay increased rates to help run the Unicity each year. However, every Ratepayer wants to be treated equally in this matter – ie, everyone should be increased by the same percentage every year. Whereas this happens in the years between GVs, this does not happen with new rates resulting from a new GV. It is completely unacceptable and inequitable that on these occasions, , because of the flawed valuation methodologies used, that some people subsequently receive reduced rates, some receive slightly increased rates and some receive massive increases, regardless of the economic levels of the areas in which they reside.

The GCTCA is sure that the City Valuation Department is indeed seeking ways to improve the quality of its 2006 GV and would welcome the opportunity to continue with the dialogue which it initiated by means of its audit with he City officials for the benefit of the City and all ratepayers.

Philip Bam
John Powell

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Register Complaints With Council

A fault reporting system introduced by the City Council about a year ago is finally being recognised and used by the public at large.

The C3 Electronic Reporting System is used to direct all service delivery complaints, including out-of-order street lights, potholes, missing drain covers, uncut grass street verges, builder’s rubble on pavements, overgrown open public spaces and other civic issues. While the system is about a year old, it has taken some time for people to get to know about it.

The system is designed to allow residents to keep track of their report’s progress. For example, when a resident reports a missing drain cover or a road pothole, the matter is logged, and they are given a unique reference number.

This puts the power in residents’ hands and, instead of wondering what is happening in response, residents are able to track down their report(s) and find out their progress through the system. After receiving their contact number the Council will supply residents with regular feedback.

Complaints made to the City of Cape Town’s call centre are logged through software called SAPS. The complaint is then identified by the Council depot which ensures that the complaint is attended to. If the problem is not attended to in good time, the SAPS system highlights the complaint with a red flag which will not be removed until the issue or complaint has been attended to.

Get your complaint logged by calling 086 010 3089, emailing or SMSing 31373 (max 160 characters).

People’s Post
07 July 2009

History of Camps Bay

Camps Bay has a long and interesting history which can be accessed by simply entering the above heading into the search of your internet in order to find many historical facts by various agencies, the most notable of which includes extracts from the well-known book “Camps Bay – An Illustrated History” by the late Camps Bay resident Architect Hillel Turok and Gwynne Shrire.

These pages are presented as a courtesy by Gwynne Schrire in association with Hillel Turok (authors) and Albert Louw of Citi Graphics (publisher), as published on the Camps Bay Rentals website.

Read more ‹‹ here ››

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

CCT Draft policy for Urban Planning

Property developers should keep an eye out for the opportunity to participate in a proposed spatial development plan designed to guide urban growth in Cape Town, which will replace the current guidelines on land use decisions. The draft plan has been approved by the City and will be available for public comment by August.

Alderman Brian Watkyns, chairperson of the Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee (PEPCO), said it was too early to say how the proposed spatial development plan, which is an effort to view development in the city "holistically" and create a more formalised structure, would affect property developers.

But he said that over the years separate municipalities had "done their own thing". With the Democratic Alliance in control of the broader metro, a more holistic approach could now be developed.

The system is designed to monitor and manage land development and will inform investors about where potential development opportunities exist in the short and long term.

But it will be a while yet before developers can take a close look at the ins and outs of the scheme and what the implications for them might be. Although he couldn't say for sure where opportunities may be, he noted the Voortrekker Road corridor and South East area as potential sites.

"There will be opportunities because we need to look at where development needs to take place," he said. As it stands, the Cape Town Spatial Development Framework (CTSDF) draft is "very high-level", with a broad view of the city, and therefore predictions of how it will change property development in particular have yet to be explored. Once produced, property owners and developers would need to look at it closely and comment.

PEPCO had approved the Cape Town draft for public participation, as well as three district plans for Blaauwberg, Eastern ex-Helderberg and Mitchells Plain/Khayelitsha. More district plans would be submitted in July for approval.

"The implementation of these plans relies on partnerships between the private sector, communities and other spheres of government," said Watkyns.

The policy aimed to ensure the city was restrained from expanding uncontrollably, mindful of its natural resources and investment in the development of "corridors" that were well served by public transport, cycle and pedestrian routes.

"We need to look at the future of the city, where it should grow and what it should look like in 15 to 20 years and beyond," he said.

Copies of the full Draft Development Framework and the eight district plans will be available at in early August.