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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

CBRRA AGM Minutes 7 Sep '15

HELD AT The Rotunda, The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay,  7 September 2015 @ 18:50


The Chair welcomed everyone. He thanked Maree Brink and the Bay Hotel who are always most generous with their hospitality – and special thanks here to Events co-ordinator, Grant and his team, for all of the arrangements.
He also thanked Mary and Brian Lloyd who man the membership table, for their tireless efforts.
He welcomed the guest speakers, Dr Jo Barnes, Rogeria Viana and Tommy van Zyl.
We were expecting Councillor Marga Haywood, but she wasn’t present. Our other Cllr, Jacques Weber sent his apologies and could make it due to bereavement in his family. It would have been informative to have Jacques at the meeting but circumstances dictated otherwise.


2.1. Apologies: Brenda Getz, Paddy Walker, Chair CBOA, Tony & Pru Hare, Ann Caras, Trudi Groenewald
2.2. Announcements:  Since our last Public Meeting on 13 April 2015, I must report that, sadly, 2 of our members have passed away. Arthur Shephard, whose endeavours and dedication to all matters Camps Bay – but particularly the Little Glen project – will be greatly missed for his wonderful personality and tireless efforts on behalf of this community. The CBRRA has proposed that the Little Glen be renamed in his honour and the process is underway with the City. The last that we heard from the City was that a petition would also be required over and above the CBRRA motivation. Alma Horn is dealing with this matter and will inform the community as she receives info from the City.  An extremely well-attended celebration of Arthur’s life was held at this venue a couple of months ago.
Sadly, I must also inform you that Gavin McArthur, born, raised and until recently, a long time resident of CB and member of the CBRRA passed away last week after a long fight with illness. Gavin was very supportive of CBRRA and used to arrange for our printing requirements – especially the street posters when we still used them. Hamba Kahle old friend and our sincere condolences to his sister, Ann Caras, who has also served the CBRRA Manco tirelessly over the years.
On a happier note, albeit a bittersweet one, I must report that John Powell, after over 30 years of dedicated service to this community through the CBRRA has decided to retire. It would be impossible to even begin to describe the incredible effort that John has put into the preservation and progress of this community. Most of the hard work was unsung and often unnoticed but that didn’t deter John from pursuing the cause.
I will place a more detailed CV of John’s achievements on the blog shortly but we wish John and his wife Kay a long and happy retirement and remain in their debt forever. To make sure that he doesn’t slow down in his retirement, John has recently undergone a hip replacement operation and I’m happy to report that all is going well and John should be beetling around soon.
2.3. Minutes for AGM held 4 August 2014 was posted on the blog.  These were proposed by Alma Horn and seconded by Byron Herbert.  No one objected.  Minutes were approved.


We have 2 of the most serious matters in CBRRA history to report on tonight, viz:
The proposed Clifton Development and the quality of the seawater in Camps Bay, with particular reference to the latest application by the City to continue with its marine outfall systems, which are basically in Hout Bay, CB and Mouille Point. These 2 matters, particularly in terms of bulk services, are intertwined.
So, we have a busy meeting tonight and I would also like to touch on the recent ruling out of the WC High Court in the bowling club/prep school matter.
It is also our AGM, so we will be asking for nominations from the floor for people to serve on Manco. All volunteers are welcome and a working knowledge of planning and the legal requirements thereto will be an added bonus. So please make yourselves available when we call for nominations.
3.1       Manco:  All 10 members currently on the Manco have indicated their willingness to continue on the committee, for which the community should be very grateful. However – and as always at our public meetings – we need to encourage more people to volunteer their time for this essential civic function.
Manco is made up of the following members:
Chris Willemse (Chair) - Ward Committee (74) and Planning
Richard Bendel (Vice Chair) - Membership and Finance 
Brenda Herbert - Planning and Events and CPF
Johan van Papendorp – Planning & Environmental
Gus Millner - Membership
Alma Horn - Membership and PR
Helet Merkling - Clifton
Byron Herbert - Beach and Dog walking
Neil Gardner – Planning
Eban Tucker – Local affairs
The Chair asked for people to indicate their willingness to stand for Manco election.  None forthcoming.
3.2       Advertising for meetings: We would also like to ascertain how the community reacts to our advertising:
Posters:  This is quite a process.  No one supported this costly and time-consuming way of communicating.
Surface mail:  Not needed.
E-mail:  Majority at meeting because of e-mail.
3.3       Time of meeting:  The turn out for such an important meeting was considered poor.  Although the meeting was scheduled to start at 6.30 pm, we did only start at 6.55 pm.  It is unclear what the best time to start the meeting is, but it was proposed to start at 7 pm in future.
The City was recently required by the DEA, in terms of the Integrated Coastal Management Act, to obtain a permit to discharge raw sewage through its various marine outfall stations along the Atlantic seaboard.  Of course, this has been occurring for years now despite the protests from academics in this field and environmentalists.  However, the public participation process that this requires has focused the community’s attention on this matter and I’m delighted to welcome Dr Jo Barnes to address this issue and alert you to the dangers and reality of sewage being pumped into the bay of Camps Bay.  Dr Jo Barnes is an epidemiologist and senior lecturer in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr Barnes, who is, amongst others, a recipient of the Order of the Disa of the Western Cape Province, and an associate of the SU Water Institute.  Dr Barnes, I thank you for giving of your valuable time to address us tonight.
Dr Barnes gave a very heartfelt presentation reflecting the plight of our seawater.  Attached hereto is her Powerpoint presentation.
She stressed that sewage should be treated before it is pumped into the sea. 
In Cape Town we have many small treatment plants.
We must make a noise and put pressure on Council to do the right thing and treat the sewage properly.
He spoke about what Afriforum is and what they do, namely fight government and local municipalities on things they aren’t doing properly (eg sewage).  They have been successful in most of the cases they have taken on.
He urged us to support them in their fights against government and municipalities.
He discussed the correct methods that should be used for cleaning the beaches (which they do) and the benefits of these methods.
Their contract with the City of Cape Town was terminated prematurely and is now subject to litigation.  All litigation details to date are on their website
At the moment, the Camps Bay beach isn’t being cleaned properly with the correct machines which could have major health implications.


We would like to have heard from Cllr Weber on this matter, but unfortunately he was unable to attend the meeting.  So The Chair had to present.
I’m sure that many here tonight are keen to be updated on the proposed Clifton development.  I want to preface my remarks, and those of other CBRRA Manco members, with the following:
The CBRRA is not a political organization. It is a civic-based association, which deals with local and City matters on behalf of the community constituency, which gives it its mandate.
However, having said that, the CBRRA has to deal with the City on a daily basis – both the political representatives and parties, and the officials – and it is therefore our duty to report back to you as to how these interactions are or have proceeded.  And whereas we have very good relations with the City on a number of fronts, when it comes to property, land usage and planning decisions, we are finding it extremely difficult to deal with the DA-led administration of the City. We are finding that the commitment to transparency and due process appears to be merely lip service and a box-ticking exercise. Whilst Mayor de Lille and her deputy Ian Neilson tell all and sundry that all processes are above board, we are discovering a clever network of manipulation that is intended to serve the DA and their friends in the development industry – all at the expense of the citizens of CT. Now this is clearly a bold statement, so allow me to give a few examples:
1.     An application was made recently for a large restaurant in Noordhoek. This application was opposed by the local ratepayers and recommended for refusal by both the officials and the political committee (the SPELUM committee). So it should have ended there. But no, disregarding the entire specialist input and concerns of the community, Mayor de Lille simply authorised the project using her executive power. This is how the system now works! The attempted development of the Philippi Horticultural Area is another example.
2.     The mayor’s attempted manipulation of the Bowling Club/ Prep School matter had to be overturned by a High Court judge. We’ll deal with the merits of the case shortly, but it has to be unacceptable that a high court judge finds that the Mayor and her mayoral committee take decisions that are unconstitutional, unreasonable and basically ill-considered – whilst ignoring due process. Obviously, one’s reactions to politicians are ultimately decided at the voting booth but we have to deal with what is there and it is important that we make it clear to this administration that we will not tolerate their obfuscations that are all intended to deprive the citizens of CT of their rightful amenities – whether it is the Princess Vlei debacle (where the City had to back down in the face of public outrage) or the City’s land grab at the bowling club or this latest high rolling attempt to turn a protected piece of scarce public open space land into a playground for the rich.
The City presented its plan at our last meeting and the residents voted unanimously to reject the proposal. Since then, there have been separate local meetings with the CBRRA, the Glen CC, the High School, the CPF, Clifton Tennis etc.
And every time the plan changes, and becomes a larger proposal…
In print and on air, Deputy Mayor Neilson has informed the citizens of Cape Town that the City is listening to the community and, in fact, implementing the recommendations. This is highly surprising, as these comments were made before either the CBRRA or the CBOA had responded to any proposal. For public participation, read “the City will now tell you what and how it’s going to happen”.
I will try to explain what is happening and what the concerns are with this project:
Firstly, as you probably all know, the City intends selling off the piece of land from the ridge in Clifton to Glen Beach for private development – about 7,5ha. The initial reasons given were that the buildings were dilapidated and that the residents needed additional garaging.  To unpack this, let me confirm that the major building on the land is the Glen CC and that it is in exceptional condition – with major money annually spent by that club on on-going maintenance. As to the parking garages used by Clifton residents, they are in a terrible state of disrepair – but the City owns these structures and is responsible for the maintenance!  And, the CBOA has been requesting their upgrade for over 10 years – all  to no avail. More importantly, the CBOA have confirmed that they have not requested additional garages, just the repairs to the existing. There has certainly not been any request the existing 60 garages to be upgraded to an almost 800 parking bay garage. To put this in perspective, the Gardens Centre, which is a massive centre, has 600 parking bays.
Secondly, the public participation process is simply a sham. No matter what input is made, the proposal just grows and grows. The City is conducting a box ticking exercise and the lack of transparency is disgraceful, in our opinion.
Thirdly, the City is extremely vague on how it proposes to sell off the land. It can do it 2 ways, both with problems.  On the one hand, it can simply sell the land as is, encumbered with its current zoning and restrictions. That’s easy enough but obviously the land will realize a fraction of its real value. Also, the City will then be judge and jury over the re-zoning process from which it stands to make millions of Rands in terms of rates etc. This is also a process that could lead to wholescale corruption.  On the other hand, the City could go through all due processes and have the land zoned and entitled to the proposed development. The problem that the City faces with this option is that the legal processes might reject the proposal in the first instance – remembering that this is an independently conducted, professional, public process. So the City is not very keen on that option and keeps repeating that the EIA, TIA, Heritage studies and all the other processes “will be done in due course”. It is almost incredible that the City did not start this whole process with those assessments. In fact, without the findings of these studies, asking for a public participation process is flawed in the first place. How do you make sensible suggestions when you are not in possession of all of the facts! It is like saying that you must give your opinion on a proposal and then being given a blank page!  It is imperative that the City embarks upon all necessary investigations and assessments and then proceed with the public participation process.  Not only is the only sensible and legitimate approach, if the this process does result in the land being sold for development, the City can realize about R850m more for the land, which is not bad for a couple of million rand spent on the process!  But do remember, once the land is sold off, it’s not ours anymore and anything can happen on the land. A further implication is that once sold, the private developer can, if unsuccessful with the rezoning application, simply let the land go to rack and ruin. This will then be ideal for squatters to move in, which puts pressure back on the ratepayers to agree to anything that the developer requests. This is, of course, an old strategy.
Lastly, and also very importantly, how will the City manage the development phase of this proposal if it does indeed go ahead?  How will they compel the new owner of a piece of land - that they sold – to follow the envisaged proposal? The City cannot even keep to its current Zoning scheme regulations and routinely gives departures from the Scheme despite the protests of neighbours and civics. Every bungalow on Clifton, Glen Beach and Bakoven has a unique Maximum Development Envelope (MDE) registered over it – by the City. And every month applications are approved by the City to amend these MDE’s. In fact, a group of owners in Bakoven have launched a High Court challenge against one such decision in Beta Rd, Bakoven, which has resulted in our councilors in the local Good Hope Sub council being at loggerheads with each other. Read the latest Mail and Guardian to find out more about this. In any event, it would be practically impossible to control every building on the land, so once the land is sold, whatever the developer wants to do, will in all likelihood happen. And that’s not good for the environment.
At the last chaotic meeting that the City attempted to hold at the High School (without proper notice being given in terms of the law), a very prominent developer stood up and said of the architectural plans for this proposal: “It all looks very good but it will never be developed this way” – in other words, the developer will change things to suit financial viability and the City will wring its hands and tell us that it is private land now and due process must follow; which is its way of telling us that it will approve whatever the developer wants regardless of public input, as happens at every Subcouncil meeting, Spelum meeting and Mayoral meeting on a monthly basis.  Can one really expect this leopard to change its spots ???
There is a further aspect of this proposal that needs to be aired in terms of the entire city and its many groupings. The City has strongly defended itself against the allegation that Maidens’ Cove will no longer be accessible to the many previously discriminated against citizens of this city and for which it has such a strong heritage and meaning.  So, and I simply put this to you, about 34 bungalows costing about R40m each are going to be built on the perimeter of a picnic and braai area that offers free access to the public. Really, how long do you think that will last?
The CBRRA and the CBOA are strategizing a meaningful opposition to this proposal. We are joined by many other groupings and civics across the City.
The CBRRA has opened a bank account, which is dedicated to this opposition and any necessary litigation that may follow. The account allows for donations to be tax deductible and the details will go onto the BlogSpot. Just Google campsbayratepayers and you’ll get there.
If we want to preserve our precious resources of public space and amenity, we have to get involved. We’re up against big money developers and a political party that is largely sponsored by that industry.
But we have right on our side and the united voice of the people always triumphs in the end! But a certain amount of money is required to achieve this.
And our objective: To ensure that the land remains in the hands of its citizens, ratepayers and tourists to enjoy as it was intended – an unspoilt recreational and sporting area. We have also had offers from various professional architectural teams that see this area as a formal park – in line with the beautiful Green Point Park on the Common. Now that is a worthwhile vision and one of which we should all get behind.
The website is 
The Camps Bay Prep School expansion onto the bowling club land has been discussed extensively over the past few years and raised at our previous public meetings. There has been quite a lot of activity in this matter recently, mainly the judgment that came out of the WC High Court a few weeks back.
Basically, the City had approved a decision by the Mayor to summarily cancel the Club’s lease and allow the school to use the land for sporting purposes (note, not educational purposes, as this would require a re-zoning). The Club applied to the court to have this decision reviewed and set aside. The court found in the favour of the Club, with you, the ratepayers, picking up the tab for the costs incurred by the City.
The judge ruled that the City had acted in an unconstitutional and ultra vires (beyond its own powers) manner, ignored due process and basically messed up on many fronts. This is disgraceful – poor decision-making is one thing but being unable to act within the law is another.
And it boils down to one issue again. The City want the land to sell off for development, so what better way than to give it to the school for a restricted, non-renewable period and then sell off the land (rezoned by others away from public space) to a developer. We will ultimately lose all our space – the bowling club, tennis courts and soccer fields – if we do not stand up to the rapacious development policies of this City.
This issue, as the CBRRA has been saying for years now, must be resolved by a workable agreement between the school and the sporting club. This agreement must have the support of the community and should then be taken to the City as a sensible, sustainable and proper solution to which the City will have to give a secure lease that is renewable and of sufficient term to be reasonable.
The CBRRA will continue to facilitate this process with the relevant parties.
Richard Bendel read from an e-mail provided by Ian Bowker who works for the City and is heading this project
“Full completion on the Ravensteyn to Fiskaal section is expected on 23 October – this means we will open that section up to give access via Woodford etc. Full completion on Geneva to Prima expected on 24 October – stop go will then be removed.
This means both these sections will be completed a month before the expected completion date of 21 November and will help with access, but, unfortunately, a month later than our original mid-September date. The reasons for this were given previously, but to recap, the heritage issues causes a month delay and the unexpectedly poor existing ground conditions, which required additional excavation throughout the length of the road also added a month.
400m of the 600 to 700m of subsoil drain have been completed in the Rontree to Houghton Section. They expect the drains to be completed by 11 September, after which they can see if any further remedial work is required. If not, which I believe (hopefully) will be the case, the road works will continue as fast as they can. Until we are sure all the drainage issues are sorted we are not 100% sure how long this section will take. That’s not particularly helpful or informative, I know, and I Apologise. I will work on the worst case and say that this section has now become our critical path that will determine final completion, i.e. it may still take until November to complete.”
While this is both good and bad news, it is felt that the long-term benefits are well worth the short term pain.

Richard Bendel presented the signed audited Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2014.  The following main points were discussed:
                  7.1       The association had cash (its only asset) of R281 820.
7.2       The liabilities were R416 304 of which the provision for legal fees of R384 074 was the most significant. 
7.3        The association was accordingly technically insolvent in that the liabilities exceed the assets.
7.4        The provision for legal fees comprised R384 074 relating to the Harrison matter (R294 074 awarded to City of Cape Town (this amount has been taxed) and R90 000 to Harrison (this is an estimate)). 
7.5        The association was has been in discussions with City of Cape Town in order to come to some settlement regarding this liability owed to it.  This has resulted in the City agreeing to payment of R60 000 per annum until the full amount (including interest) has been paid.  R150 000 of the R294 094 has already been paid subsequent to the balance sheet date.
7.6        On the trading side, there were 158 fully paid up Members that contributed R91 328 for the current year.
7.7        Apart from the legal fees expense reflected in the Income Statement, the next biggest expense was printing, postage & stationery of R10 210.


                  11.1        Clifton:  Traffic is a key issue as to the suitability of the proposed development.  We should employ suitable professionals.  Per The Chair, EIA, Traffic and heritage are all key issues.  Helet Merkeling made a passionate plea for funds to build up a war chest to fight Council.  Council wants to de-classify the National Monument and Clifton Scenic Reserve.  We need to do whatever we can to make sure the land isn’t sold since once sold, it is GONE FOREVER.

12.           GENERAL

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


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Clifton proposed development

From: Neil Eybers []
Sent: 28 September 2015 11:03 AM
To: Len Swimmer; Marius Coetsee
Cc: 'Chris Willemse'; 'Chris Hudson'; Sandy Geffen; Helet Merkel;
'Marguerite Bond-Smith'; 'Graham Noble'; 'George Sieraha'
Subject: RE: Clifton development and the Caves area

Good day all

Due to capacity constraints I was unable to complete collating the
comments by 22 September 2015.

I will continue working on this over the next few days and get it shared
with everybody before the end of this week.

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

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Clifton proposed development

From: Len Swimmer []
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2015 1:46 PM
To: Neil Eybers; Marius Coetsee
Cc: 'Chris Willemse'; 'Chris Hudson'; Sandy Geffen; Helet Merkel;
'Marguerite Bond-Smith'; 'Graham Noble'; 'George Sieraha'
Subject: RE: Clifton development and the Caves area

Dear Mr. Eybers,

Please inform us of the link and site to find these comments promised by
you for posting on Tuesday afternoon 22 September 2015.09.24

Kind Regards,

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

082 452 1799

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Clifton proposed development

From: Neil Eybers []
Sent: 21 September 2015 4:56 PM
To: Marius Coetsee; Len Swimmer; Glynnis Dyers
Cc: Chris Willemse; 'Chris Hudson'; Demetri Qually; Jacques Weber
Subject: RE: Clifton development and the Caves area

Good Afternoon Colleagues

Mr Swimmer (as well as a number of other members of the public) are in
search of the individual comments from our various departments on the
proposed development vision for Clifton.

I am collating the comments into one document and will share this on the
³Have Your Say² link on Tuesday afternoon 22 September 2015.

Kind regards

Neil D. Eybers
Project Manager

Property Management Department
Finance Directorate
13th Floor, Civic Centre
Tel:  021 400 3605

Monday, 21 September 2015

Sub-council 16 Report dated 16 May 2015



a) How can the City alienate the land without first itself undertaking
the normal rezoning processes?

b) The huge Heritage, Environmental, Traffic, Sewerage and Privatisation
of a Public Amenity issues should be addressed by the City PRIOR to any
Sale of this public land.

c) How can the City sell the Land 'as is' and later treat the winning

developers rezoning application objectively?

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Maidens Cove and Clifton Precinct Proposed Development: Questions to the City

17 September 2015

Mr Neil Eybers
Project Manager
Property Management Department
Finance Directorate
13th Floor, Civic Centre

Dear Neil


Thanks for the new Dropbox invite.

We will look at it in more detail soon, but at first glance there is some more information that should be accessible as easily to the public and interested and affected parties (a) in the interest of transparency and (b) in order to inform the people of Cape Town what has happened so far and show what decisions have been taken to date (and why), notably:

(1) the comments/reports from all City Departments to date on this proposal (or earlier versions) listed on pages 292 and 293 of the Sub-Council 16 minutes of 18 May, 2015.

(2) the MAYCO, full City Council, Sub-Council and ward council meetings' minutes from inception of this project to date (or a link thereto).

(3) the list of interested and affected groups that you have met with (public, not private individuals) plus their proposals and comments to date.

(4) all press/media statements by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in this matter to date.

(5) the MSA and MATR and relevant planning processes that the City is following.

(6) all City ads to date for info, comment, public participation, and meetings of this project.

(7) a graphic timeline of this project from inception to date.

(8) the list of IPAC committee members.

(9) the list of all the major IPAC/Mayco projects for public open space and public land development referred to at the last public meeting on this project, or a link to the relevant site with info.

(10) the property department's valuation reports for this Clifton Scenic Reserve and those informing the Glen Country Club lease from 2013 to date.

(11) the City's Spatial Development Framework and the Public Participation Policy.

(12) the most recent set of the City's Powers and Delegations.

(13) the visual analysis of the site.

(14) the maximum development envelope parameters for this site.

(15) the contextual analysis and impact on the local area, sub-metro, whole City and region of this project.

(16) the replies from Provincial and National Treasuries, or the letters notifying them of this project.

(17) confirming who the newspapers of record are for the City.

(18) all unsolicited development proposals for this site between 2011 to date.

(19) the procedural process that the City is following in this matter and that would allow for alternative proposals to be submitted by the community organizations.

(20) the motivation for the 880 car parking garage.

(21) the template for the "bidders' pack."

(22) Any other reports that the City has received to date related to this project.

Would you kindly make that information part of the Dropbox so that all Capetonians can access the information with ease, please?