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Monday, 28 December 2015

Eventide planning issues

From: Mark Shapiro 
Subject: Eventide planning issues
Date: 28 December 2015

Dear Chris
We write to you as chairman of the Camps Bay Ratepayers CBRRA. 

We noticed a number of changes to “Eventide" on Victoria road (see photos attached) in December that concerned us. We wrote (see below) to Eventide representative Andrea Bezuidenhout on December 14th 2015, to request that the building and its owners comply with the current City planning and By-laws. The response from Eventide has been polite but with no action. 

Is the CBRRA aware of the issues raised below and has the CBRRA lodged an objection to the structure on Eventide's roof? 

Best regards, 
Mark Shapiro & Family.

Mark Shapiro

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Sale/Lease of potion remainder Erf 1056 Green Point

From: Vivienne Sasman
Date: 14 January 2016 

Good day all

Please find attached, a memorandum regarding the lease/sale of portion of remainder erf 1056, Green Point (Granger Bay Boulevard).If you wish to comment,please do so on or before Wednesday 3 February 2016 and submit it to Mr Jason Toay

Kind regards / Vriendelike groete/ Ngombulelo omkhulu

Vivienne Sasman
Admin Assistant: Good Hope Subcouncil 16
10th Floor,44 Wale Street
Cape Town
Tel: 021 487 2759

View the link here: Granger Bay Erf 1056

Friday, 11 December 2015

Letter in response to the article on the Strong bungalow debacle in Bakoven

Letter to the editor of the Mail and Guardian, Friday 11 December 2015.


The letter from Patricia de Lille, the Mayor of Cape Town (M&G 20 Nov through her spokesperson) - in response to the article on the Strong bungalow debacle in Bakoven - clearly articulates the Mayor's disregard for due process and her (and her senior cabal’s) disconnect with the communities of Cape Town.

What Mayor de Lille does not share with your readers is the fact that, on her  instruction, the City entered into litigation with various affected neighbours and the CBRRA, against the clear advice of her legal department in order to defend a flawed and incorrect decision made by the Good Hope Subcouncil.
All of this is contained in the court papers and the City-commissioned KPMG forensic report.

If this was not bad enough, when it became apparent that the City of Cape Town could not prevent the local DA ward councillor, Marga Haywood, from ,  giving damning oral evidence before the Western Cape  High Court,  the City hastily abandoned the case and tendered legal costs to the Applicants. The inescapable conclusion of this bizarre action on the part of the Mayor, can only be her need to protect the DA councillors in the local Good Hope Subcouncil from being exposed for corruption and bias.

The KPMG report and court papers clearly shows that this is not a "he said, she said" matter as alleged by the Mayor. The facts are very clear and the KPMG report reveals that  Cllr Errol Anstey conceded that he made biased statements in favour of the Strong’s, who, by their own admission, contribute to the DA party coffers

The unnecessary stress and trauma caused to law-abiding ratepayers by the developer-friendly  DA administration, not to mention the financial commitment required of private individuals to fight a City that blithely uses ratepayers money to  fight its own citizens, is shocking in the extreme and should result in the Mayor falling on her own sword. 
The estimated cost of this exercise in futility, including the cost of the KPMG report, runs into the millions of rand and constitutes fruitless and wasteful expenditure on the part of the Mayor. This is surely a case for investigation by the office of the Public Protector.
In addition  taking into account  two recent cases before the Western Cape High Court, namely the attempted cancellation of the Camps Bay Bowling Club lease and the Wynberg MyCiti debacle, where the Mayoral Committee's decisions, bulldozed through the DA caucus, were reviewed and set aside by that Court (with sharp condemnation of the City's disregard for its Constitutional obligations in terms of public participation), then a clear picture of abuse of executive power on the part of Mayor  comes sharply into focus. 

The arrogant statement by the Mayor, that "we will consider our governance model a success" belies the reality that the DA-led City, under Mayor de Lille, can only offer trite and disingenuous comparisons to ANC rule, rather than set their own decent standards for inclusive, transparent and accountable governance in the City of Cape Town, which is rapidly being asset-stripped by the Mayor and her friends and sponsors in the development industry. 
The proposed sale of public land in Clifton for private development, despite being protected under heritage laws and against the wishes of the majority of stakeholders across the entire city - and the accompanying public participation sham - is a good example of this leadership style of Mayor de Lille.


Chris Willemse
Chair Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association (CBRRA)


 ‹‹ read the article here ››‹‹ read the mayor's response here ››

Quote by Tony Benn

“The way a government treats refugees 
is very instructive because it shows you 
how they would treat the rest of us 
if they thought they could get away with it.” 

Tony Benn

Neelix Event at Clifton

Dear Mayor de Lille

It is with grave disappointment that the CBRRA has learnt that it’s - and other stakeholders’ in Camps Bay/Clifton - genuine and motivated concerns regarding the negative aspects of the abovementioned event have been ignored by the City officials and that it has been approved by the City.

The Camps Bay Events Panel was formed by all I&AP’s in the area to assist the City with such applications and to do it in a streamlined manner to expedite the assessments of applications.
This panel is extremely pro-active and offers the City positive feedback at all times, particularly where it believes that amendments would benefit all parties. In other words, it is not just a grouping that attempts to protect the narrow interests of the local residents but one that attempts to make the natural attraction of events to the area as pleasant an experience as possible for event-goers, tourists and residents alike, whilst ensuring that Event Organisers do not suffer bottlenecks or double-bookings, for instance.

The proposed Neelix Event is clearly not suitable for any dense residential area - especially one that will be bursting at the seams with holiday-makers and tourists. The security problems surrounding this event are enormous and, in the opinion of local security experts, unmanageable. This event was not supported by ANY of the local stakeholders and the Ward Councillor for very good reasons. That the City saw it’s way to approving this application is unfathomable.

Given the current status, and unless you are willing to personally intervene and stop this event, the onus of responsibility for any problems arising from this event will lie with you and the City. The local stakeholders have established a good working relationship with Disaster Management but will not be able to offer any local resources for this event as they are already stretched in covering the other approved events and the seasonal flocking to this part of the Atlantic Seaboard. This includes the CPF and other security volunteer groups.
In other words, the City must ensure that it alone supplies all necessary manpower and resources to deal with any eventuality arriving from this event. Again, it is stressed that this event will not be easy to manage and the potential for major problems is very high.

The CBRRA, on behalf of the community of this area, trusts that you will intervene in this matter.


Chris Willemse


Saturday, 21 November 2015

Response by mayor de Lille to article in Mail and Guardian

"Dirt" on DA doesn't stick

After nearly 10 years of Democratic Alliance government in Cape Town, the people of the city have grown accustomed to a few things. These include: clean audits, the highest level of services in the country, capital budgets spent, innovative policies and strategies, clean government, billing systems that are reliable, and basic services that work.

The Mail & Guardian has searched high and low to find something, anything that suggests an abuse of power (“City of Cape Town accused of muzzling dissenter” and “Editorial: Led astray by sins of incumbency”).

The M&G has come up with an evidence-free, “he said, she said” story about a building ­extension. If that’s all there is to complain about after a decade, we will consider our governance model a success.

It is worrying that this newspaper chose to publish an article based on nebulous assertions and to write an editorial about it. It ran on the front page [and as a lead in the Cape Town edition] when our universities face an existential crisis and discussions began about the purchase of a R4-billion presidential jet.

– Zara Nicholson, spokesperson for Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Mail and Guardian article re DA and Strong bungalow

Cape Town ratepayers will foot the bill for a court wrangle in which the DA turned on one of its own

City of Cape Town accused of muzzling dissenter

13 NOV 2015

DA councillor Marga Haywood’s efforts to voice concerns about the proposed renovations led to her being subjected to an audit and facing possible disciplinary action. (David Harrison, M&G)
The City of Cape Town has settled a legal dispute that would have resulted in the airing of serious allegations in the high court that councillors manipulated council processes to favour a Democratic Alliance donor.

The metropolitan council did so after commissioning a forensic investigation into a whistleblower, costing Cape Town ratepayers thousands of rands.

The whistleblower, DA councillor Marga Haywood, now faces possible disciplinary action for speaking out.

Haywood’s allegations would have been tested under cross-examination if the city had not settled a fortnight ago.

The case involves a dispute over planned renovations to a well-heeled Camps Bay couple’s house. Because of strict heritage laws, Carol and Dixie Strong’s plans required special permission, which the area’s DA-led subcouncil controversially approved in June.

A group of neighbours objected to the plans and took the city and Carol Strong to court to have the council’s decision set aside. But ensuing events have led to accusations of a council cover-up and attempts to “intimidate and neuter” Haywood.

AmaBhungane has  previously reported that mayor Patricia de Lille ordered the city to defend the matter in court. In February this year she did so – against the advice of a number of senior officials.

Now that the city has withdrawn its court action, Cape Town ratepayers will have to pay the city’s and the neighbours’ legal fees.

The Strongs’ house is one of a number of historical bungalows in the suburb of Bakoven, south of Camps Bay, and as their planned extension went well beyond the area’s strict heritage laws, they applied to the council for permission.

Several neighbours objected that the plans would block their sea views and impinge on the area’s character.

Before deciding on the application, officials and councillors visited the property in May 2014. Haywood later made the stunning claim that, at this meeting, fellow DA councillor Errol Anstey said: “Strong is a big donor for the DA and the application should therefore be approved.”

Dixie Strong “was an old associate of Colin Eglin, who was an MP and … a donor to the Progressive Federal Party”

No 3 Beta Close, Bakoven. David Harrison, M&G

This surfaced in court papers in which McCain’s lawyer, Brian Aronoff, quoted his conversation with her.

Haywood later said the same thing to KPMG, the forensic investigators appointed to investigate her. She told them Anstey made a similar statement a month later at a meeting of DA councillors before the area’s subcouncil 16 was to decide on Strong’s application.

When amaBhungane first reported on the claims in August, Anstey denied making the statement. But he told KPMG that his words to Haywood were that Dixie Strong “was an old associate of Colin Eglin, who was an MP and … a donor to the Progressive Federal Party”.

The late Eglin founded the PFP, a precursor to the DA, which he later represented in Parliament.

Anstey’s version raises serious questions of political bias, which he denies. He told amaBhungane: “It is not unusual, when considering an application, to share information on what is known about an applicant or objector. Since I was not aware of whether or not he is a donor to the DA, I would not have mentioned that when the matter arose.”

In August, a person representing Carol Strong’s interest told ama­Bhungane off the record that Dixie Strong was not a DA donor. But Dixie has since admitted in court papers that he donated R24 500 to the party between 1999 and 2005.

AmaBhungane has heard a recording of subcouncil 16’s meeting on June 1 2015, when it approved the application. Strong’s case was discussed for 10 minutes. Anstey voiced his support for the application, Haywood said nothing and DA subcouncil chairperson Demetri Qually concluded that the application was approved.

”There was definitely an error because it is still a huge issue with my constituents.”

Haywood has since told KPMG that she missed the item in error because the agenda items had not been addressed in order and it had been wrongly labelled.

Later in the meeting, she voiced her confusion, objecting: “This is the item that I was opposed to … This is the one we discussed in caucus … I noted my concerns about this issue this morning [in the DA’s caucus] comprehensively and I had a huge concern about it. But I think there could have been a problem because it says [incorrectly] that the ward councillor is Beverley Schäfer, so I don’t know when this item came up. There was definitely an error because it is still a huge issue with my constituents.”

Qually dismissed her objection and closed the meeting.

Shortly after the meeting, Haywood tabled a motion to rescind and review the decision, as she believed it had been made in error.

She also reported Anstey’s alleged statements to the DA’s council speaker, Dirk Smit.

Documents before the court show that City of Cape Town legal adviser Susan Mosdell agreed with Haywood. In an official memorandum, Mosdell said: “There is no doubt that the decision is capable of challenge in terms of the provision of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.” But she said that, because the decision had been finalised, the city’s only recourse was to apply to the high court for it to be reviewed and set aside. She recommended that this be done.

”Obviously it is not a process which should be embarked upon lightly”

An email chain in the court file suggests that there was no disagreement with Haywood that the decision needed to be reviewed. For three weeks in August, city officials deliberated in the correspondence only about whether the council could review the decision or whether it needed to be taken to court.

It was eventually agreed that the city would have to apply to the court. The decision about whether to do so was referred to Smit.

But in a letter to Haywood, Mosdell said: “Obviously it is not a process which should be embarked upon lightly as it has reputational and damages implications.”

It appears that Smit stalled because no decision was made for six weeks, and in December the neighbours, led by Mark McCain launched their own high court application for the decision to be reviewed.

AmaBhungane has previously reported that a number of officials then met and decided that the city would not oppose the application, subject to De Lille’s approval. In an email, an official told McCain’s lawyer, Aronoff, that it was unlikely De Lille would oppose it.

Five senior officials signed off on this decision, but the document then languished for a month before De Lille finally signed it, ordering the city to fight the case in court.

She previously defended her action, telling amaBhungane: “It was decided that it was most appropriate to defend the systems of a structure of council.”

Then, eight months after Haywood had tabled a motion to have the decision reviewed, Smit commissioned the KPMG investigation.

Councillors “sought to cover up what had actually transpired by inventing the misconduct narrative”

In a court affidavit, the DA’s Qually said: “When councillor Haywood’s ‘motion to rescind’ came before the speaker’s office, there was a concern that [she] had transgressed the subcouncil rules and code of conduct.

“As a result, KPMG was appointed to conduct a forensic investigation into her conduct in relation to the application and the motion she attempted to introduce.”

KPMG’s investigation eventually cleared Haywood of this allegation, but found “grounds for disciplinary action against Haywood” because she had reported Anstey’s alleged statements to Aronoff.

But Aronoff complained that it was only after he had demanded that Haywood provide evidence to the court that Smit and other subcouncil 16 councillors “sought to cover up what had actually transpired by inventing the misconduct narrative”.

He said the councillors were “fictitious and vague” when they alleged under oath that there were concerns about Haywood’s conduct.

He said the forensic investigation was commissioned “with the aim of intimidating and neutering Haywood, as she is the only person at the city who was not prepared to hide the truth of what had actually transpired”.

“I need closure so that I can move on.”

Haywood said: “I confirm and have proof that I informed KPMG that I have no objection to making a sworn statement [about Anstey’s comments]. I do not know why I was not required to do so.

“I was also willing to testify under oath in the high court and to be cross-examined in this regard.”

Asked whether she thought Anstey’s comments were acceptable, De Lille said: “We will have to wait for the legal processes to be concluded before we determine which actions, if any, need to be taken.”

Correspondence between Haywood and Smit, which is in the court file, seems to suggest that Smit was considering disciplining her for tarnishing the city’s reputation.

He told amaBhungane: “I do not debate disciplinary investigations of councillors in the media.”

Haywood said: “Because I stood up for what I perceived as a miscarriage of justice, I have suffered occupational, reputational, psychological and financial detriment.

“I need closure so that I can move on.”

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


MONDAY NOV 09, 2015
An intelligent and prudent political management will ensure that development is sensible, sensitive and sustainable. This bunch of DA led politicians, under de Lille in this case, are only interested in short-term gain for their developer buddies, which of course translates into party funding and who knows what else. Developers are profit-driven and will obviously cherry-pick juicy projects over the less profitable (but often very necessary infrastructural development required by a city) ones. It is the duty of the City to manage this process - but clearly the DA only has it’s own interests at heart.
Zille used her executive power to ensure that the CT Stadium went ahead - despite massive public opposition and clear financial and technical warnings that the stadium was unsustainable (as it inevitably proved to be) - simply to ensure that her construction industry buddies got a lot of work. And has her silence been deafening when the collusion between the big construction companies was uncovered….. Imagine that shrill voice if ANC benefactors had been caught with their collective fingers in the till !!!!


Chris Willemse

SUNDAY NOV 08, 2015
Why is Mr. Schulze unable to raise this point without resorting to the topic of race, or name-calling? Silly little catch-phrases like "whities" and "kill de Lille" are immature at best. They completely detract from what would otherwise be a valid point.
However, since Mr. Schulze has opted to raise the topic of race - perhaps, as a white Capetonian, he should perform a bit of self-reflection? It's easy to adopt an anti-development stance when you're perfectly comfortable with the status quo because it suits you. However, when you're poor and living on the outskirts of the city far away from most economic opportunity, this type of progress is exactly what the city needs.
A densification policy is vital to the city's future - not only from a sustainability perspective, but also in terms of inclusiveness. We simply cannot continue on our current trajectory of urban sprawl. Tracts of land in District 6 are but a small part of the solution to this problem. They're already earmarked for development and would only house a limited number of people to begin with.
Mr. Schulze needs to accept that the city is developing rapidly and is already struggling with housing issues and unemployment. We've become the most congested city in the country. Unless we start densifying, we will be paying for it in the years to come. We won't be able to afford to build/maintain bulk infrastructure, public transport, housing and the like. We will never become a truly inclusive, world-class city.
I'm pro-development, but completely agree that we need to protect our Heritage. We are capable of marrying these two concepts. There are plenty of examples of the preservation of our Heritage throughout the city, if one chooses to look at them. I could rattle off countless examples.
On a side note: if you think the Leinster Hall in Gardens would have received a provisional roof under an ANC-led local government, you're in for a surprise. Be careful what you wish for..

FRIDAY NOV 06, 2015
Cape Town's pro-property development stance questioned

What is happening in Cape Town? The City's ruthless pro-development stance is now clearly getting out of hand.
The Spelum rejection against the VOC warehouse proposal was simply overturned this week. So was Spelum's rejection of the Riverside Extension in Kommetjie.
Maiden's Cove is now put on tender, Bakoven's historic bungalow is set to be demolished, Highclere in Blouberg is under threat of demolition, and the Philippi farming area is to be developed. Next, it seems like the Arcadia House of the Winchester Mansions Hotel (corner Hall and Wisbeach roads in Sea Point) is going to be demolished for a 56-room highly contemporary addition. Perhaps, if we wait long enough, the Princess Vlei shopping mall proposal will again be revisited.
The DA is convinced it's got us white Capetonians by the short and curlies in that we're forced to vote for it to keep the ANC out. Well, it might just get a nasty surprise. My vote in next year's municipal elections will now definitely go to another party. This nonsense of Mayco overturning Spelum decisions, giving developers the goahead for those greed-driven proposals, proves the DA's self-indulgent (mis)behaviour against our builtheritage that is not only "white history", by the way.
Our old buildings wouldn't exist if it weren't for the labour and craftsmanship of our non-white citizens' forefathers. This goes for very old, but also our early 20th century Arts&Crafts (Revival) and Art Deco buildings being relentlessly demolished or contemporised to oblivion.
Unfortunately, the principle of distinction that is taken up in the approved City of Cape Town's Cultural Heritage Strategy (2005), which forms part of the Integrated Metropolitan Environmental Policy (IMEP), (Policy 3: Authenticity, which states, among other things, that the City will ensure that a distinction be made between the authentic fabric of a resource and later contemporary interventions), further causes the fast erosion of our heritage resources, rendering them more and more insignificant and therefore expendable.
This also gives the impression that non-approved contemporisations are acceptable, especially in that such illegalities can be approved retrospectively if anyone from the City even cares.
This distinctive approach appears overemphatically based on the authenticity concept of the 1964 Venice Charter, which again has it's roots in the 1931 Athens Charter that was essentially established to protect ancient Greek and Roman ruins. I, for one, object to these strict terms being placed on our relatively young built heritage, and feel that conjecture for the sake of some homogeneity in contextual areas - especially within Heritage Protection Overlay Zones - should be encouraged, if not enforced. This is also done in other countries despite those charters.
Another erosive factor is the City's densification policy, which I feel ought to be reviewed as long as District Six (and large parts of adjacent council land) lies vastly empty. With the present status quo, it will lie fallow for another 40 years.
In terms of built-heritage protection, the DA appears to be deliberately underfunding Heritage Western Cape (HWC), likely due to pressure from the vested interests of the construction industry. Three months ago, the entire upper floor of the 1850s Leinster Hall in Gardens was destroyed by a fire. HWC still hasn't got a provisional roof over the open building to protect it from further rainwater damage.
Some will argue that it is much worse in ANC-run cities - I beg to differ. Yes, many buildings may be considerably rundown there, but at least they're still standing. Once something is gone, it's gone, especially since above-mentioned "accepted heritage practices" don't allow conjecture in this city.
It seems we're in a catch-22 with our mayor, who has fought for democracy during the freedom struggle, but abolished it for a near dictatorship favouring developers and construction firms who appear to have funnelled enormous amounts of cash down the DA's throat.
Is this what conspiracy theorists call a corporatocracy? Big money running the show? De Lille and her inherent ID probably couldn't care less if the DA loses next year. Judging from past events she'll just split off the DA again, to form a coalition with whatever closest winning party. We're stuck, unless we politically "kill de Lille" at next years polls.
Heiko Schulze
Cape Times

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Mayor sells of Maiden's Cove and Clifton for money for the DA, not just the City.

The City of Cape Town, under the instruction of Patricia de Lille, has approved the selling of the people of Cape Town's public open space,  from Maiden's Cove to Clifton Fourth beach for development, leaving all process in the hands of the developer!!

We, the community,  have suggested that the City rezone the land themselves and, in terms of the Municipal Finance Act, achieve the best value for the asset. As an aside, it is almost certain that the statutory processes - especially the Traffic Impact Assessment - will fail.

The City refuse to do this for one simple reason, in our opinion:

The Mayor is looking for money for the DA, not just the City.

If they sell off land with no rights, such as this public land, the price is naturally quite low (the City itself has estimated a figure of R50 - R100m). The "favoured" developer then spends a couple of million rand, plus a year or two, and with very compliant City officials and political committees (not to mention the absolute authority of She who must be obeyed), the land is suddenly worth close to R1bn. That's a lot of money left on the table for a deeply grateful developer to show his appreciation to the "benefactor". And given that there are no real restrictions on party funding - or disclosure thereof - it's sort of (partially) legal as well.

The DA politicians have not been able to properly explain why they refuse to follow the process, with Neilson, City Finance, simply saying that it's up to the developer to achieve the rights.

This begs the question:

What if he fails to achieve these rights? 

Does the ownership of the land revert to the City, or does the developer embark on the age-old trick of letting the land go to hell or "allow" squatting - which will then force the local communities to support any development that he wants.

Of course, if the City manage to achieve the rights themselves, then the cash flow is directly into the City coffers and nothing left for our poor, destitute politicians…..

However, the legal point of the MFA might well trip up this Administration in court.

In any event, as Pieter Dirk Uys so eloquently put it: Democracy se moer.

We must act as a community against this corruption.
Join our action now.

Or donate funds for legal action into the following trust account:

Money market
Name CBRRA fundraising
Branch code 201511

No 62550213400

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Whose interest does Ward Councillor Jacques Weber really represent?

From: Chris Willemse
Subject: Re: Item 58/10/15 on the Council Agenda for WEDNESDAY
Date: 29 October 2015 at 8:31:07 AM SAST
To: Jacques Weber

Hi Jacques

You continue to be patronising whilst ducking the actual questions asked: Who supported this scheme and on which of the myriad versions thereof? 
Please note that this question will not go away and will remain an albatross around your neck until you answer it satisfactorily.

Of course, the item was "approved" by all the very compliant DA councillors looking after their jobs. The reality, of course, is that it was approved by your boss, the mayor, a long time ago.

If, as you state, the communities' (note plural) feedback and comments were conveyed to the City, and here I presume it was for consideration (you're most obtuse with this statement), then can it be taken that not a single point that we raised was worthy of consideration? The implication is that the vast and deep institutional knowledge of such communities (and individuals highly placed in the development industry) is really not worth anything.

It is quite mind-blowing that you now urge the communities to "make use of the multiple ongoing public participation opportunities which remain as part of this project", when not a single input to date has been considered by the so-called City property specialists. You make a most fatuous comment in this regard and it shows the lack of respect you have for your voters. 
I think that you will find that the voters will remember this next year: The people whose trust you have abused in this matter will not forget your betrayal.

However, there is a good chance that this matter will be decided by the WC High Court prior to elections. If the Court finds fault with this process, which you have so eagerly supported, to the detriment of your electorate, will you resign as a councillor?



From: Jacques Weber  
Subject: Re: Item 58/10/15 on the Council Agenda for WEDNESDAY
Date: 28 October 2015 at 4:13:29 AM SAST
To:  Chris Willemse

Dear Chris

You email is acknowledged.

I must restate that I do not ignore your feedback and comments which have been conveyed, together with those of other residents and organisations, to the City on this development.

The item was approved today by DA led council by 125 votes to 62.

May I conclude by urging you and likeminded organisations to make use of the multiple ongoing public participation opportunities which remain as part of this project.


Cllr. Jacques Weber
Ward 54 – Atlantic Seaboard
Porfolio Member:  Transport For Cape Town (TCT)

Cell: 076 520 7550
Fax:  086 202 8742 

From: Chris Willemse
Subject: Re: Item 58/10/15 on the Council Agenda for WEDNESDAY
Date: 27 October 2015 at 10:04:42 PM SAST
To: Jacques Weber

Hi Jacques

I'm afraid your response raises more questions than answers and appears more of a spin exercise than a meaningful response to genuine civic concern on the part of the electorate that voted for you.

Firstly, please name any of the Civic Based Organisations (CBO's) in your ward which have supported this proposal. In fact, please name any organisation that categorically supported the proposal - and which particular machination of the proposal it was in the first instance.
You will find that your dismissive and rather petulant remark that "(you) have to consider the comments and views, formal and informal, of all those in my ward and not just those of one organisation or individual" is neither helpful nor truthful. You (and various City officials) were requested to supply minutes of meetings you purportedly held with "stakeholders", and which apparently formed your positive attitude toward this unacceptable development, but nothing was forthcoming.

Insofar as the city-wide perspective is concerned, the CBRRA and other organisations attended every meeting held to discuss this proposal and observed that there was no support from the community, either by groupings or by individuals. In fact, quite the opposite. Or is the political spin going to be that, because many people didn't actively respond to the "public participation" process, it follows that they support it?

You have avoided actually stating your position on the matter, which leaves your entire response with the so-called "elephant in the room" problem. I can assure you that every CBO in your ward (and across the city) is following this e-mail trail, so it would be of assistance to all if you could simply state your position. If, of course, it is your position that it is in the "city-wide" interests to sell off scarce and precious public land for private development and profit, then you have nailed your colours to the mast, so to speak - and you will be judged accordingly.

Please don't try to fob off active and concerned communities with pacifying comments like  the "first of many steps which also require public participation". It is clear to all how "public participation" processes are dealt with by the City. You conceded as much at the last CBRRA meeting you attended.

Which brings me to the final point. You claim that you remain committed to working with the CBRRA, however you have steadfastly avoided attending it's monthly Manco meetings. The minutes reveal that the last meeting attended by you was 08 June 2015. The CBRRA will be addressing a complaint to Ald Qually regarding your less than acceptable record in this regard. Or, perhaps you only want to work with CBO's on your own terms?

It is your choice how you go forward - but you can't have it both ways. And beware of #DA/deLille/greedydevelopersmustfall… It might be surprisingly effective, as recent SA history has shown.

The CBRRA awaits your direct response on how you intend to deal with, and vote on, this matter tomorrow.




From: Jacques Weber []
Sent: 27 October 2015 06:09 PM
To: Chris Willemse <>
Subject: RE: Item 58/10/15 on the Council Agenda for WEDNESDAY

Dear Chris

Please note that I do not access my emails until late afternoon as I am generally on dealing with service delivery issues or in meetings during the day. 

Your concern is hereby acknowledged.

It’s my responsibility to take into account views expressed during the extensive formal public participation process, and I can assure you that your organisation’s comments have been properly considered. At the same time, as councillor I have to consider the comments and views, formal and informal, of all those in my ward and not just those of one organisation or individual. Further to that, I (and the City) must evaluate the city-wide perspective in coming to a decision.

Please be reminded that this decision, if approved by council, is the first of many steps which also require public participation.

I reassure you that I remain committed to working with your organisation in the best interests of all the residents of our beautiful city.
Kind Regards

Cllr Jacques Weber 
WARD 54 - Atlantic Seaboard
Cell:   076 520 7550

From: Chris Willemse <>
Sent: 27 October 2015 05:38 PM
To: Jacques Weber
Subject: Re: Item 58/10/15 on the Council Agenda for WEDNESDAY

Hi Jacques

It is now 17h35 and there has been no response from you regarding this critical matter.
Please respond by return.



On 27 Oct 2015, at 9:48 AM, Chris Willemse <> wrote:

Hi Jacques

It has been brought to the CBRRA's attention that this item is on the Council agenda for tomorrow.

It is, again, beyond belief that yet another machination of this unacceptable development has been tabled without any reference to the I&AP's - although purportedly based on inputs received. This is simply not how public participation works and speaks to a process that is merely working to a previously decided outcome.
Any right-thinking person will immediately realise that this is so lacking in transparency - and such a pathetic attempt to circumvent due process - that it must be rejected with the contempt that it deserves.
You are the public representative for the area and the CBRRA, as the registered civic based organisation for this precinct, hereby demands that you ensure that this item is withdrawn from the agenda until such time as this new "vision" is properly workshopped through the relevant channels with all I&AP's. Your failure to do so will reflect poorly upon you in the community that elected you in the first place. 
It is safely assumed that other CBO's in your Ward (and beyond) agree with the CBRRA's position in this matter - although time constraints have prevented proper consultation.

In the alternative, please respond by return that you do not feel bound by the reasonable expectations of your electorate but rather by the DA party leadership and it's Development Industry backers.

The CBRRA awaits your urgent response.



Monday, 26 October 2015

Clifton Development comments


I do not think that my memory is at fault here, but if this development is where I think it is going to be, there are going to be massive health problems.

This is below the Victoria Road and that was until the mid-fifties a major rubbish dump for Cape Town. Whilst I appreciate that there has been a passage of time, there is still likely to be a real risk of methane gas seeping into the properties from the remainder of the rot down process from the remaining rubbish. At that time, there was no distinction between the types of rubbish and separation according to longevity.

Given that there is still a rotting process, probably, going on (I may be wromg-architects comment??), that is also likely to lead to subsidence, unless there are fairly stringent conditions imposed on the foundations, reinforced steel concrete rafts. But then this is probably beyond the ken of the current new leaders. 

However, the advisers in the planning departments should be well aware of this and if they alerted the "representatives" of the people of this fact, one has to wonder what induced these "representatives" (and to what extent) to give permission.

Like what was underneath, what rotten processes have gone on?

Council Agenda to vote on Clifton Developoment

ITEM NUMBER: C 5811 0115
The Mayco Member for Community Services & Special Projects, Ald.
8 Walker, proposed that recommendation (f) as set out in the report
on the agenda , be amended to read as follows :
(f) the Director: Property Management be authorized to sign off the
amended urban design vision in accordance with the
recommendations above, and to commence with drafting the
tender documents.
The above proposal was duly supported .
(a) Council notes the extensive public participation processes
conducted by the administration between 22 January 2015 and
2 April 2015, and also the additional public participation
process between 2 June 2015 and 5 October 2015 regarding
Council 's intention to sell and grant rights to use, control and
manage (lease) the "subject properties" within the Clifton
(b) as a result of the public participation process certain
amendments have been introduced in the urban design vision,
providing inter alia for:
• the existing space at the beach recreational node at
Maiden's Cove to be expanded to include portions of the
sports field currently leased from the City by Camps Bay
High School in order to create the opportunity for a
multi-use beach recreational node thereby maximising
the public value of the site;
• A related public participation process be initiated
that focuses on upgrading and redeveioping the
existing sports fields in Camps Bay for shared future use
by the Camps Bay High School and the current users,
• The establishment of a residential component on the
current parking area to the entrance of Maiden's Cove.
(c) as a further response to the public request for inclusionary
housing and improved community integration, a special fund will
be established by the City whereby a portion of the sale/lease
proceeds paid by developers will be pooled in order to fund near
inner-city inclusionary housing projects.
(d) the developer of the subject properties will be required to
contribute to certain upgrades within the area including the
current pedestrian access routes (in conjunction with the
City's Legal Services Department
(e) Council reaffirms the in-principle approval granted on 29 May
2015, to proceed with the sale and the granting of rights to use,
control and manage (lease) the "subject properties" by way of a
competitive tender process
(f) the Director: Property Management be authorised to sign off the
amended urban design vision in accordance with the
recommendations above , and to commence with drafting the
tender documents.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Clifton proposed development

From: Neil Eybers 
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:14:51 +0000
To: Len Swimmer 
'Chris Hudson' , Sandy Geffen , Helet Merkling , 'Marguerite Bond-Smith' , Graham Noble , 'George Sieraha' 
Subject: RE: Clifton development and the Caves area

Good Morning Mr Swimmer

After your request for these comments to be made available, I informed
the various departments who had commented and some departments expressed
concern that their comments were being made available to the public at
this stage.

My colleagues¹ concerns stem from the fact that this is not a legislated
rezoning, or EIA process (with the requisite public participation
processes) and their comments were not intended for public consumption.
Please note that the comments received to date are based on a draft urban
design vision prepared by the City.  The urban design vision has been
amended subsequent to receiving the comments.

This vision will be used as the basis for a public tender seeking to
appoint a property developer who will be tasked with applying for the
development rights (which would require applications such as rezoning,
EIA, HIA, etc.).  During these processes, public and departmental
comments will again be required based on the legislated processes
involved.  These proposed development rights will in turn be based on the
urban design vision which have in your possession.

Kind regards

Neil D. Eybers

Project Manager: Development and Facilitation
Property Management Department
Finance Directorate
13th Floor, Civic Centre, Hertzog Boulevard

Tel :  021 - 400 3605
Fax:  0866 244 702

Monday, 19 October 2015

Clifton proposed development

From: Len Swimmer []
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2015 4:47 PM
To: Neil Eybers
Cc: 'Chris Willemse'; 'Chris Hudson'; 'Sandy Geffen'; 'Helet Merkel';
'Marguerite Bond-Smith'; 'Graham Noble'; 'George Sieraha'; 'Helet
Subject: RE: Clifton development and the Caves area
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Eybers,

Please inform us whether circumstances now permit of a reply and that you
will forward to us the comments of the City Officials to this Development
as well as the Minutes of the various meetings held, as requested in
previous correspondence. If you are unable to do this, can we infer that
you have been prevented from doing so by some superior in the City, and
so transparency in this development is being stifled?

We look forward to your replies and still hopefully the requested
comments and Minutes as promised.

Kind Regards,

Len Swimmer
Deputy Chairman
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance
021 790 0268
082 452 1799

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

CBRRA Comments to Neil Eybers CCT on Maidens Cove Development

05 October 2015

Mr Neil Eybers
City of Cape Town

Cape Town

Dear Mr Eybers


As previously stated, the CBRRA continues to have serious concerns with regard to the manner in which this proposal is being driven, the lack of essential information which the City appears to be unwilling to furnish, the expanding scale and shifting parameters of the development since the initial public participation proposal earlier this year and the desirability, in the first instance, of developing an area that has been proclaimed as a scenic reserve and which forms an extension to the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).
Again, even if this is part of the Mayor’s strategic development initiative, it is not in the public interest that political motivation for “better utilization” of City-owned land, with its narrow financial benefits for political agendas, be placed before reasoned town planning, environmental and public amenity considerations.


From the inception of this proposal - or at least when the public became aware of it - there appears to be an undue haste for this radical change to an area that is both sensitive in nature and precious to the environmental heritage of the area and the Table Mountain National Park in particular and the city of Cape Town as a whole.

The fact that no formal assessments as to the feasibility, viability, sustainability or desirability have been conducted indicates a proposal that is lacking in practicality but enjoying undue political backing. This is unacceptable as the political support speaks only to short-term financial benefit without the required technical, professional or public oversight that is so necessary to prevent the destruction of a rare and precious public amenity on the altar of political expediency.

With the wisdom of hindsight of the past few months, it has become patently clear that the City has not, in any way, taken public opinion, suggestions and proposals into account. There have been no responses to the various letters and submissions from the important stakeholders of Cape Town and the various revisions of the proposal have simply shown that the City is driven solely by its own vision, which, the various public meetings have shown, are certainly not shared by the public at large. Every single public meeting has indicated that the overwhelming majority of the citizens and ratepayers of Cape Town are not in favour of this proposal, even in its many forms and guises.

The City must accept that it is the custodian of a scarce and precious piece of land that is a proclaimed national monument and scenic reserve, an important sporting and recreation area, a sensitive botanical enclave and an a vital link between the mountain and coast. It is not merely a piece of land that is ripe for development and exploitation to satisfy the City’s financial budget.

It is unacceptable that the City pursues a course that will result in the expropriation of public land when the residents and ratepayers of the city are so vehemently opposed to such executive action.
The City is reminded of the ruling in the recent matter of the Camps Bay Bowling Club vs The City of Cape Town and 2 others (Case No: 7981/2015), where the Court was highly critical of the City’s attitude toward its constitutional duties regarding the disposal of public open spaces.


It is common cause that the Maidens Cove area is considered as an historic heritage site by so many of the people of Cape Town, especially the previously disadvantaged.
This proposal clearly indicates that members of the public using this facility will now have to utilize the paid parking facilities and carry their picnic and beach necessities a considerable distance to Maidens Cove, which is both onerous and discriminatory.
Further, the City has been at pains to claim that the public access to Maidens Cove will remain. This purported undertaking is highly questionable, as not only will vehicular access to the area be curtailed - with a private cost-based option as the only alternative – the mere fact that this proposal envisions 34 bungalows, probably costing about R45m each, constructed along the perimeter of the public picnic and recreation area, does not bode well for the continued existence of this historic public amenity. Simply put, it is extremely unlikely that owners of such exclusive real estate will tolerate free public picnic facilities on their doorsteps for too long. That is just a fact of life, sadly.
In any event, the requirement of integrated urban inclusivity is unsustainable in this proposal.


This has certainly been amongst the most worrying aspects of the entire process.
Repeated requests for information have been routinely ignored or summarily dismissed by the City. At the public meeting held at the Civic Centre on 19 September 2015, the City’s Mr David Marais twice refused to answer the very simple question of how this proposal came into existence in the first instance.
A request to have the reports of the various City line departments has also fallen on deaf ears. In any event, the alleged manipulation of these reports, to suit the Mayor’s requirements, needs independent investigation by, inter alia, the Public Protector.
The CBRRA has, as with other stakeholders, requested information that should have been freely shared by the City with the public. These lists are well documented and, in the main, unanswered.


The CBRRA considers it reckless of the City to embark upon the sale of this land without having done the various statutory assessments (traffic, environmental, heritage etc) that would be required to complete the rezoning and other land use requirements necessary for the realization of the City’s proposal.
The City’s stock response to this problem has been that it will be the potential buyer’s responsibility to attend to these matters – and that if such assessments show that the proposal is unsuitable, then the sale will be void.

It is almost incredible that the City would expose its residents and ratepayers to such a controversial and emotional process that may simply come to naught and shows the sense of disregard that the Mayor has for the citizens of Cape Town.
Indeed, if the City are genuinely following an inclusive public participation process, then such assessments should be considered vital to the public being in a position to make meaningful inputs. The City’s modus operandi reveals that it is intent on only meeting the barest minimum requirement of a selective “box ticking” exercise, if that.


The problematic selling off of public land without development rights has been dealt with previously and remains a major stumbling block in the minds of the citizens of Cape Town.
Suffice to say; the City’s unwillingness to incur the relatively small expense of these assessments, which will increase the value of the land by many hundreds of millions of rand if successful, is both irrational and legally challengeable.


Stauch Vorster Architects (SVA), as the design professionals, appear to have prepared their initial proposal prior to the City having decided to embark upon this purported public participation process. This is troubling from an administrative point and needs to be clarified.


The City has made much of the biodiversity study that identified the Strandveld areas and the manner in which this small area would be protected. Whilst this may be laudable, it has ignored the Southern Coastal Forest that exists on most of the proposed site. This is unacceptable and will render any executive decision in this regard as legally suspect.


The purported public participation process has produced many alternative proposals for the land, from leaving the land as is, to upgrading to a marine coastal park that preserves the unique Cape floral kingdom and onto a limited bungalow area extension. It is imperative that such a public participation process includes for various options and the “do nothing” alternative. It is again patently clear that the City has failed to even basically consider a proper approach to this matter and, as such, renders the whole process as falling to fail legally.

As previously stated, the CBRRA proposes that an environmentally friendly alternative be put forward. This option could well contain financial benefit for the City and its ratepayers – along the lines of the Green Point Biodiversity Park.
It is suggested that an interdisciplinary team of consultants be commissioned to prepare a proposal that considers the land in an environmentally sensitive manner with an emphasis of access to this land and the adjoining coastal waters by all citizens of, and visitors to, Cape Town.
Such a team should comprise an architectural and urban design component, assisted by a heritage practitioner and an environmental/landscape designer.

Any such proposal should have had, as its departure point, the basic question as to what do the citizens of Cape Town require or need. For the City to attempt to railroad a scheme through the system that is both financially and socially exclusive – and non beneficial to its citizens - is clearly contemptible.

It is essential that the City indicate to the residents and ratepayers of Cape Town that it is not simply attempting to maximize profits at public expense by selling off limited and finite assets to cover unsustainable operating costs and promote insensitive and ill-advised development. It is even more important that the City rids itself of the perception that it shows undue favour to the enrichment of wealthy developers at the cost of precious amenities that, once gone, can never be replaced.

If the City, as custodian of a very sensitive and protected parcel of public space cannot be trusted to ensure its survival, then who can?

Kind regards