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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

All hands on deck for beach ‘pilgrimage’

People come in their thousands from across the city in overloaded taxis and buses to beaches, say communities. Pictures: Matthew Jordaan.
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Cape Town - While some Capetonians avoid the beaches at all costs on Boxing Day, many residents come in their droves from across the city for a day of fun in the sun.

This annual “pilgrimage” means that popular beaches such as Camps Bay, Muizenberg and Kalk Bay will be packed with people who often don’t get to enjoy the city’s coastal attractions.

Richard Bosman, City of Cape Town executive director of safety and security, said an estimated 200 000 people were expected on city beaches on Boxing Day (Day of Goodwill).

The city does have a festive season plan to ensure that revellers celebrate in a safe and clean environment, but residents in Kalk Bay fear that the lack of law enforcement at the harbour’s beach may encourage anti-social behaviour during peak season.

“People know there’s no control on that beach and they come in overloaded bakkies and taxis,” said Tony Trimmel, chairman of the Kalk Bay and St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association.

He described the influx of “thousands” of people to the beach at this time of the year as an annual “pilgrimage”.

The beach used to be cleaned and patrolled by the city council, but these services have dwindled now that it is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Trimmel said.

Harbour staff collected more than 300 bags of litter after last year’s Boxing Day festivities, but Trimmel said the council refused to take the bags away. The state of the beach was “shocking”.

He said the community was trying to put a plan in place to control access to the beach, as well as and the consumption of alcohol over the festive season.

Bosman said the beach was part of the harbour, and it was therefore the harbour master’s responsibility to provide services.

Meanwhile, Camps Bay ward councillor Beverley Schafer has asked for reinforcements at the Blue Flag beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, ahead of Boxing Day and Tweede Nuwe Jaar.

She said the city was expecting at least 10 000 people to gather on Camps Bay beach.

Chris Willemse, chairman of the Camps Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, said that they had come to expect the large influx of people into Camps Bay on December 26 as something that happened once a year.

“It's a festive time. Obviously parking is a problem and getting everyone out of Camps Bay is also a bit of a problem.”

Willemse said people sometimes stayed on the beach until 3am waiting for their transport.

Some people find Cape Town beaches too full and go further afield.

Although the city has moved into the “festive season” stage of its peak season planning and there will be increased visibility and “sustained” deployment of law enforcement to the main beaches until January 4 Schafer felt that some of the busier beaches were still understaffed.

Law enforcement would be bolstered by auxiliary volunteers.

There would also be undercover informal trading police on the beaches to stop illegal traders from selling pirated goods.
Cape Argus

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Cape’s beaches beckon visitors

Cape’s beaches beckon visitors

Clifton s Blue Flag Fourth Beach is a must-see but there is no access for the physically disabled. Picture Leon Lestrade

It’s beach weather, the holidays are here for most of us, and visitors are arriving in droves.
And beachgoers are spoilt for choice in a city which boasts eight Blue Flag beaches, a status which assures strict safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

Recent concerns over water quality do raise issues, but the advice from Belinda Walker, mayco member for community services and special projects, is for people to be alert for warning signs posted in the event of problems.

Weather plays a vital role, and Walker explained that water quality varied according to circumstances, including run-off from stormwater outlets and river pollution.

“Poor water quality can at times be attributed to rainfall events which wash pollution down the stormwater system and rivers. These are often short-term events and, due to the high energy nature of the sea, the pollution dissipates and clears relatively quickly.”

The Blue Flag beaches, which account for a significant proportion of the total of 41 in South Africa, are Clifton 4th Beach, Bikini Beach, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Silwerstroomstrand, Llandudno and Camps Bay.

A quick list of their special qualities includes:

  • Clifton’s Fourth Beach is a definite must-see for anyone visiting Cape Town, despite its icy waters. Due to the narrow and winding steps down to the beach, there is no access for the physically disabled.
  • Bikini Beach, reportedly named after the tiny bikinis worn by students at the nearby Stellenbosch University, is sheltered from the southerly winds of summer, and is close to the Gordon’s Bay Harbour.

  • The 3km stretch of Mnandi Beach offers visitors a kiosk, braai area and a tidal pool, and is watched by 16 lifeguards. There is parking for more than 400 cars.
  • Strandfontein Beach boasts the biggest tidal pool in the southern hemisphere. Waters around the area are usually warm, but it can get very windy in early summer.
  • Muizenberg Beach, despite its limited 200m stretch, offers entertainment for the whole family. The nearby Muizenberg Pavilion offers children a waterslide, an outdoor swimming pool and a mini golf course. The family can also enjoy a meal from any of the surrounding restaurants.
  • Silwerstroomstrand is a resort on the West Coast, about 10km outside Atlantis. Visitors and holidaymakers can rent a bungalow or stay at the nearby caravan park.
  • Llandudno, described as one of Cape Town’s most picturesque beaches, with Judas Peak and Klein Leeukoppie on either side of its edges, is best known for its sunbathing or sundowners. The nearby Logies Bay boasts a bit of history as its caves were once used by the Khoisan people.
  • One of Cape Town’s most well-known beaches for its pristine shore and tranquil waters, Camps Bay remains a popular spot for local and international visitors, and plays host to the Summer Festival.

Walker said the city would be looking to add more Blue Flag beaches from among its remaining 62 contenders. Only 24 of the beaches have lifeguards on duty during the peak season.

“The eight blue flags are of international standard, and we are working towards increasing the number. Generally, the state of Cape Town beaches is good, but there is always more that can be done, and we are working continuously towards this.”

She warned too that thanks to Cape Town’s “highly-populated urban environment”, some pollution of beaches was inevitable.

“Where this occurs, City Health will signpost any beaches not suitable for swimming,” she said, but added that this was “a rare occurrence”.

City authorities, meanwhile, urged those visiting beaches where lifeguards and shark spotters were present to always be aware, and listen to any warnings given.

Cape Argus

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Crack down on beach boozers

More than 600 litres of alcohol have been seized on Cape Town's beaches since the start of December.

“That's nearly triple the amount compared to the same period last year,” said Jean-Pierre Smith, member of the mayoral committee responsible for safety.

“The city is committed to providing a safe environment for residents and visitors who use our beaches this festive season.”

He said the disorderly conduct associated with excessive alcohol usage made beaches unsafe and unpleasant for others.

“In addition to this, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is one of the leading causes of drowning. We will continue to confiscate alcohol on beaches in order to make our beaches safe for everyone,” he said.

The city has a by-law prohibiting the introduction, possession and consumption of liquor on beaches.

Offenders would have their liquor confiscated and receive a written notice to appear in court, with a fine of R500.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Refuse Removal and Waste Recycling

December 2013

Refuse Removal and Waste Recycling

We at Waste Control (a Division of the SA Metal Group) are responsible for the removal of both wet (kitchen) refuse and dry (recyclable) waste from all residents and the majority of businesses, schools and institutions across the Atlantic Seaboard from Bantry Bay to Hout Bay.

We were awarded the tender as your service provider from the City of Cape Town in January 2012. Our major goals were (and still are) as follows;

  1. Ensure that our compactor vehicles for wet waste and recycle vehicles never miss a collection on the day allocated to them
  2. To have a permanent supervisor in the area who is able to communicate with residents should they wish
  3. To operate the most modern (new) vehicles to ensure minimum environmental noise and oil spills
  4. To never work out of the hours of 6am to 4pm (this is a huge challenge over the festive season however due to congested traffic and servicing 30% more residents)
  5. To market the concept of separating and packing of recyclables in the free Waste Control plastic bags that we provide to households and institutions etc. At present an average of 78% of residents participates in recycling, the highest in the Western Cape and in fact the country.
  6. To constantly upskill our drivers. They have a one week advanced training course on an annual basis. 
  7. To ensure that our runners (collectors) are fit, have no criminal records, are dressed smartly and appropriately and utilize the correct legislative protective wear at all times
  8. Our staff is obliged to greet and wave at any resident they come across.
  9. Our employees are not allowed to accept gifts from anyone.
  10. To man our call centre for complaints 24/7 and respond immediately. In nearly two years we have not received more than 30 complaints or queries
  11. And lastly and most importantly, to ensure when all your residents return from school lifts, work or other chores, there is no refuse in their streets or outside their homes. It is our mission to give all the residents the opportunity to view their pristine community at all times without any eyesore clouding their vision.(especially if the black wheelie bins have already been taken back into the households)

Whether we have met these objectives only your residents and business people can judge but as a resident of Camps Bay myself, when I see our vehicle collect my waste and recyclables on the minute at 6.30 am every Tuesday, I feel a huge amount of gratitude and pride in our employees and am fairly confident that waste or refuse removal is a problem that no one ever has to deal with in our community whether they be in a leadership role or are just “the man/woman in the street”. That is how it should be in a modern safe suburb.

As an aside we were also contracted to service the Deep South Peninsular for 3 years until we were awarded the Atlantic Seaboard tender. To this day we still receive letters, e mails and phone calls pleading with us to return to be their service contractor. The ratepayers also protested when the tender was awarded to another company but to no avail. The city has a policy of awarding a private waste removal company only one area at a time. I hope this changes in late 2014 when our tender terminates. It really has been a pleasure to work in such a magnificent part of the Cape Peninsular and we would like to continue our relationship with you. (Although the Deep South was also so picturesque) But I digress.

For the festive period please can you advise all your residents, businesses, visitors and institutions; (in fact these are policies we have throughout the year)

  1. Not to give any of our staff “Xmas boxes” We provide our staff with bonuses for their commitment and dedication.
  2. Explain to all your visitors through your visitors info centres, neighbourhood watches, notice boards etc to participate in our recycling programme
  3. To stop bergies and the homeless to scratch in refuse bags. It is the most arduous task for our staff to collect broken bags from say the Clifton steps and bring them up to the road. This is soul destroying work
  4. Visitors and residents should be told of their collection days. They should not put out their waste the evening before the collection day. The perfect time is between 6am and 6.30 am on collection days especially in the summer. We cannot afford a fly infestation in our suburb. In this way people do not party too hard as they need to be up early to put out their bins and bags.
  5. Residents should wash their black wheelie bins with disinfectant weekly
  6. We are not allowed to collect grass, branches, rubble, broken glass, disused furniture and/or garden clippings. Either residents can dispose of these at the City Garden Refuse Camps throughout the City or call 
  7. When it is windy secure the bins and bags to ensure that they do not fly all over the streets.
  8. We will be collecting refuse and recyclables throughout the festive season including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and other public holidays.

Lastly it is deeply distressing that you have the website of our opposition who has nothing to do with refuse removal or recycling on the Atlantic Seaboard on the CBRRA website. Please immediately change this. Our websites are and where there is further information simplified for all. Please add it to yours.

We wish you a peaceful, relaxing and non windy festive season..

I have copied in our ward councilor into this e mail as well.

Important contact details

Waste Control Operations;
021 507 8700
Supervisor; Elliot Ndinisa;
071 906 5028
Director; Jonathan Biderman-Pam;
083 653 7126
City of Cape Town;
086 010 3089

Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns, complaints, questions or maybe even a compliment or two although we are driven to perfection in our commitment to you and don’t expect affirmation for achieving our goals.

Yours faithfully

Waste Control

Jonathan Biderman-Pam
Divisional Director

Monday, 9 December 2013

CBBRA Objection to lease of public open space to WCPG and CBBC / CBPPS Partitioned Proposal

The Regional Head: Property Holding (Cape Town Region)
City of Cape Town
Box 4557
Cape Town 8000

ATTN: Mr Donavon Geysman 

Dear Mr Geysman


The CBRRA, as the sole constituted and City-accredited ratepayer association in the suburb and environs, strongly objects to this application.

The CBRRA will set out its objections hereunder and will, further, propose an alternative lease option that it firmly believes will be in the better interests of the community, the Camps Bay Preparatory School (CBPS, the ultimate intended beneficiary of the proposed lease) and the Camps Bay Bowling Club (CBBC, the current lessee of the abovementioned land). For ease, the various erven detailed above shall be referred to as the Property.

The CBRRA fully understands the space constraints currently experienced by the CBPS and supports its efforts to expand onto extended, suitable land, of which a portion of the Property would be ideal.
However, the CBBC has shown itself to be a viable and sustainable sports club, with a substantial
investment in improvements on the Property and which certainly has a powerful right to its existing lease.

The CBBC also serves the residents of Camps Bay by allowing its facilities to be used by the community. It must be noted that as recently as late 2012, the City’s Mayco Member for Community Services, Tandeka Gqada, had publicly announced that the CBBC is a sustainable sporting club and that the City would not interfere with a valid, legal lease agreement. The perceived circumstances surrounding this apparent sea change in approach by the City will not be dealt with in this submission.

The CBBC and its requirements:

It has been clearly established that the CBBC has been in existence for almost a century and has a
proud record as a successful sporting body and of being a force to reckon with on the bowling greens
of the Province. The honours boards adorning the walls of the club detail a virtual history of Camps Bay and its residents. At a time when this sport is not as enthusiastically supported as in the past, the
CBBC is one of the few clubs that is actually growing in membership. The City has an obligation to
support this trend.

  • As a club that competes in WPBA open competitions, the CBBC must continue to have two operational bowling greens and sufficient parking to serve both its members and visitors, particularly visiting bowling teams. The parking in the village area of Camps Bay is already woefully insufficient in terms of the number of visitors to the area in general.
  • As a club that has been assessed and found to be viable and sustainable, it is essential that the CBBC retain the necessary infrastructure to allow its continued existence and current growth. This, in CBRRA’s opinion, must include for a functions hall, suitable recreation/seating area, a dedicated members social area, in terms of its valid liquor license, and associated ablution facilities.

The CBPS and its requirements: 

It is common cause that the CBPS has become a sought after educational facility and has had an
increased enrolment over the past years, to a point where many potential learners have to be turned
away annually.

• The minimum requirements of the CBPS in the short term are for at least two additional
classrooms and an assembly hall. Ideally, the CBPS would look to providing a further three
• The CBPS, due to the constraints of the existing campus, also requires a suitable play
and sport area.
The Camps Bay Community and its needs:
Camps Bay is a peri-urban suburb of Cape Town, formally established well over a century ago, with a
stable population whose demographic could be generally described as family residential with an age
spread from young to senior.
• Camps Bay has a need to accommodate its children in terms of adequate and sustainable
schooling facilities.
• Camps Bay has a need to accommodate its residents who enjoy the various sporting codes that
are on offer, including the well-established CBBC.
• Camps Bay has a desperate need for multi-usage Public Open Space (POS) to mitigate against
the dramatic increase in the built environment over the past decade or two. Communities have
a right to POS, which the City is bound to supply or, as in this case, preserve. It is vital to the
community to promote a “green lung” through the increasingly clogged central village.
• With the (over) development of the village area of Camps Bay, all multi-usage community
facilities have effectively all but completely disappeared. The City has an obligation to provide
such facilities to its ratepayers and citizens and the loss of the CBBC’s facilities and especially
its hall, to an authority such as the WCPG Education Department, which is not bound to provide
community facilities at all, is totally unacceptable to the residents of Camps Bay – especially in
the absence of a Camps Bay community civic centre.
• The CBBC, in its submission in this matter, has detailed the many and varied community
activities and gatherings that currently take place in the CBBC hall. The CBRRA considers that
this frequent usage of the hall, both by the CBBC and the many other community activities,
alone justifies its continued existence in its current form.
• The argument has been made that the hall could continue to serve the community, even if
under the control of the Education Department. This is only partially correct, as, in terms of the
SA Schools Act, no alcohol is allowed on school property. This will exclude most public
functions, weddings, social gatherings and parties, which are currently held at this venue.

The solution to the current requirements:

The CBRRA has addressed the situation and engaged extensively with all of the role players and is
firmly of the view that the Property be shared between the CBBC and the CBPS on a mutually-agreed
partitioned basis, tied to new lease agreements with the City that offer sustainability to both lessees.
Whereas, due to circumstance and time constraints, a full development plan is not available at this
time, a workable framework has been established with the tacit support of the various parties and their representatives. It is envisaged by CBRRA that a land requirement plan could be determined within two months of this date (given the unavailability of most representatives over the holiday period).

If this is successful, then it is proposed that an agreed, amended lease application be made by the
WCPG for consideration by the City. In any event, in a relatively short period of time, the affected
parties could, fairly easily, provide a workable solution for consideration by the City. This is, in
CBRRA’s opinion, an extremely worthwhile avenue to pursue.

It is submitted that the Provincial and Local Authorities must view any proposal, which enjoys the
support of all the affected parties in this matter, as preferable. In its current form, this application is
extremely one-sided and offensive to the community and, of course, the CBBC - and will, in all
likelihood, elicit strong opposition from many quarters with concomitant legal challenges.
This will not only cause unnecessary divisions in a closely-knit community but also ultimately be
counter-productive to the real needs of the various affected parties.

With reference to the attached plan, it is proposed that:

• The existing parking area, previously the third bowling green, be redeveloped to accommodate
school buildings (to be determined by the CBPS), a play/sport area of over 650m2 for the
learners and at least forty parking bays. The usage of the parking must be decided between the
CBPS and the CBBC – however, given the different times of usage of the respective parties,
this should be relatively easily resolved.
• The existing bar area be alienated from the CBBC lease area and be made available to the
CBPS. The CBBC may relocate this facility to an area on the north end of the parking area
adjacent to the western bowling green. It is anticipated that any such structure will be
constructed on a column and slab system so as to allow for vehicular parking underneath.
The financial implications thereof to be negotiated by the CBBC and the CBPS/WCPG.
• The existing two bowling greens and the hall remain in the lease portion of the CBBC
improvements. The alienated portion of the existing CBBC improvements will have to be totally
partitioned off from those remaining elements in order to comply with the relevant pieces of
legislation in the SA Schools Act regarding alcohol on school premises.
The advantages to the “partitioned” option:
• It will result in a “win-win” situation where the needs and requirements of the CBBC, the CBPS
and the community are reasonably satisfied.
• It will expedite the process of expanding the CBPS premises in that there will be CBBC and
CBRRA (community) support for the revised lease proposal, which should streamline the
• It is assumed that, in the alternative to a partitioned option, the CBBC will defend its lease at all
costs. This will lead to lengthy and expensive appeal processes and objections at all stages of
the currently advertised lease proposal. Not only will the Property need to be re-zoned, but it
currently also consists of six different erven, each with its own unique restrictive title deed
conditions, which will have to be brought into conformity with the proposed usage. Although the
proposed partitioned option will require certain land usage amendments, it will be more easily
achieved without objecting parties delaying the process. Further, it is envisaged that the
affected parties will support temporary departures.
• The existing improvements on the Property rightfully belong to the CBBC. It is inconceivable
that the CBBC not be fully compensated for same, if the Property is alienated in favour of the
Education Department. There is presently no indication as to who will be responsible for an
amount that is estimated well in excess of R10m.
• The CBBC can rationalize the existing spread of its facilities that has built up over the years.
This will compel a better focus on its resources that will put it in a better position to motivate a
renewal of its lease with the City when the current lease expires.
• The community will retain a vital piece of POS which will benefit all residents of all ages and
offer a sanctuary for its senior citizens – which is also their constitutional right – as well as
providing an acceptable community meeting venue.
• It is unrealistic to lease over 6700m2 to the CBPS, especially as it already occupies
approximately 2780m2 on the neighbouring school property. The maintenance of such a large
piece of land, including market-related rental to the City, renders the proposal non-viable. In a
time of austerity, as frequently claimed by the WCPG, it is clearly unsustainable to embark
upon such unnecessary expenditure.
• It is unclear as to the financial responsibility for any new improvements to the Property should
the advertised lease option be accepted, given that the lease is only for a 10 year period. The
CBPS would surely need major improvements to the Property if granted over 6700m2 of land.
• It is submitted that it would be a tremendous waste of a scarce public resource to simply
transfer this large Property to a party that does not need the entire area when a portion thereof
will suffice and there exists a critical need for the remainder by both the CBBC and the
• The synergy of the children and the senior citizens of Camps Bay sharing an historic and
invaluable piece of land in the centre of the village is inescapable and will reflect the vision of
our sadly departed Madiba, who placed such a high value on a shared vision for this country.

The CBRRA respectfully requests that the assessment process that will follow this public participation process be held over to allow for meaningful discussions between the parties, which the CBRRA hereby offers to facilitate.

Given the potentially long road that this application might have to follow, it makes sense to explore a “win-win” option that could dramatically reduce this time frame and be beneficial to all parties.



CBRRA contact: Chris Willemse Mobile 0836536363 Fax 086 626 1636

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

CCT extends Life Guard Agreement

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town has assured holidaymakers all major beaches will have lifeguards at key times during the busy festive season.

The city has put in place an extended service at 24 beaches over the holidays.

The municipality’s Belinda Walker has appealed to the public to listen to lifeguards.

“They’re not kill-joys, they are just trying to keep people safe. If they say swim in a particular place it’s because some parts of the beach may not be safe.”

In September, two teenagers on a school trip to Cape Town drowned just off Camps Bay Beach.

At the time, there were no lifeguards on duty.