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Friday, 2 December 2016

Sewerage pumped in the Atlantic Ocean now at a critical point

The Facts around the problem, take a look and share with as many people as you can


Would it be possible for the City to please share with the Clifton Bungalows Organization, Clifton ratepayers, the Camps Bay Ratepayers and the Clifton Life Savings Club updated information regarding

(1) the City’s testing results and testing frequency of the sea water and
(2) the City’s maintenance of the sewerage pump stations in the Clifton area

as summer is upon us and we would like to be informed and reassured that the sea water is clear, clean and healthy before venturing into the sea for a swim and for lifesaving training.

In Umhlanga the municipality posts daily readings on a public notice board on the beach the sea’s e-coli levels and related information.

With Clifton being a Blue Flag beach, we welcome the City of Cape Town being equally supportive of our swimmers, life savers, ratepayers and visitors, please.

Requests for reports regarding the sewerage fall-out in Clifton have not been responded to regrettably, and we seek your support in obtaining this advice from the City soonest, please.

Several blocks of apartments on the sea side of Victoria Rd. are experiencing terrible problems with the sewerage pipe smells affecting their health. Is the City replacing the aged sewerage pipe infrastructure on the sea side area, please?

There are reports from many property owners in the Clifton area adjoining the beaches (Moses to First Beach) that the stench from sewerage is causing health problems and that the main sewerage pipe running behind the apartment buildings along the sea is in need of replacement.

A further article....

Planning to go to the beach in Clifton's sea of poo
Looking forward to going to the Cape Town beaches this summer, think again. e-Coli contamination may keep you at bay as 50 million liters of raw sewage is pumped into the Cape's oceans daily...

If you think this environmentalism stuff is all crap, you’re in for a surprise. This summer when you swan down for your cooling swim in the Cape Town sea- Better prepare yourself with an antibacterial towel.
A short 1,7 kilometers out from Camps Bay, Hout Bay, and Green point, millions of liters of raw sewage is still being dumped straight into the sea. Green point, notorious for its fresh sh*tty smelling promenade, takes 30million liters of this waste out to sea. The rest is divided between Camps Bay and Hout Bay.
With new reports coming in every year from UCT’s health faculty, Professor Edda Weimann; has warned swimmers of the dangerously high e-coli levels found at the swanky Clifton beach. Things are set to get worse this year as the population numbers have risen along with the level of sewage.
E-coli, for those who don’t know, is a bacteria found in feces. It is poisonous. It is dangerous for children and those with immune deficiency diseases to swim at Clifton-Dangerous as it might imaginably be, to swim in thousands of people’sfeces.
“People who swim at Clifton are at risk of thalassogenic diseases”, says Weimann. “This is the risk for contracting diarrhoea, skin infections, respiratory tract infections, and hepatitis”.
While a filter is apparently used to separate the big and bulky feces from the hard waste, the rest is still sadly being pumped into the ocean at high velocity.
Watch out if you are planning to go swimming in the Cape Town sea this year, it’s going to be sh*tty.
Go gently,
Be kind.
And another...
What’s Going Down Cape Town? Sewage Story Update…

Now that the deadline for comments and objections regarding the City of Cape Town’s application for a permit to discharge untreated effluent into the sea has closed it appears that things have gone quiet…

Despite Mayco Member for Utility Services Ernest Sonnenberg’s many statements to the press over the past few months that “the outfalls are properly functioning and do not pose a risk to the environment or beachgoers” it seems that this may not be the case…

Word in the diving industry is that the diffusers on the Green Point outfall are badly blocked and the City has appointed contractors to try and sort the problem out, which is proving challenging with the winter sea conditions.

This begs the question of how long this has been the case and why have inspection dives not been conducted at regular intervals to ensure everything is working as it should?

In any case the diffusers merely act as the “sprinkler on the end of the hosepipe” and don’t solve the real problem of putting toxic chemicals and untreated sewage in the sea in the first place.

On Friday last week (21 August 2015) I took journalist Martina Polley (“Waste water threat to Cape Town’s beaches” – Weekend Argus) on a flight to see firsthand how the outfalls are looking. The answer is BAD, about as bad as I have ever seen it!

Cape Town untreated sewage at sea:

Not an unusual sight on a flight over Table Bay… a huge plume of untreated sewage from the Green Point outfall rises to the surface and drifts for several kilometres.
There was a huge plume from the Green Point outfall over 2km long, and the Camps Bay plume was clearly visible and being pushed straight back into the bay and onto the (Blue Flag) beach by the current.

But don’t worry,  Ernest says it’s all fine…

Cape Town untreated sewage at sea

The Camps Bay outfall (see red arrow) with the plume clearly being pushed back to the beach by the current. Remember Mayco Member for Utility Services Ernest Sonnenberg? He’s quoted in the press as saying “bacteria levels are controlled by locating the outfall in such a way that transport of wastewater to beaches was virtually eliminated”… Look at the photo again and tell me you agree…!

JEAN TRESFON is a South African marine conservation photographer who specialises in aerial and underwater photography. He flies several times a week specifically to keep tabs on our South African marine wildlife and regularly assists the authorities with shark and whale spotting.

To see more of Jean Tresfon’s photos and updates:

Monday, 28 November 2016

Is raw sewage being dumped into the sea in Cape Town?

Date 25 November 2016 By Kirstin Buick

A group of people believe raw sewage is being dumped into the Atlantic Ocean near some of Cape Town’s best-known beaches – but the municipality says the beaches are safe. Using a drone, Johnny Miller, a Cape Town photographer, last Tuesday took photographs of the sea about 500 m from Clifton’s Fourth Beach, and at Camp’s Bay. The photos show a milky cloud under the water. According to Miller, it’s sewage.

Miller posted these photos on Facebook and Instagram. “If you swim at one of these beaches you’re basically swimming in heightened E.coli levels without knowing it. Since thousands of people use these beaches in summer it’s potentially a big problem,” he says. “The city says the sewage is treated by means of a sifting method, but I’ve heard first-hand that the sieves are damaged. This means anything flushed down a toilet lands in the sea. It’s unacceptable,” he wrote in his posts.

Is raw sewage being dumped into the sea in Cape Town?
By Kirstin Buick 25 November 2016 

Residents are fuming after this drone footage emerged of a "milky cloud" under the water in Camp's Bay and Clifton.

A group of people believe raw sewage is being dumped into the Atlantic Ocean near some of Cape Town’s best-known beaches – but the municipality says the beaches are safe. Using a drone, Johnny Miller, a Cape Town photographer, last Tuesday took photographs of the sea about 500 m from Clifton’s Fourth Beach, and at Camp’s Bay. The photos show a milky cloud under the water. According to Miller, it’s sewage.

Miller posted these photos on Facebook and Instagram. “If you swim at one of these beaches you’re basically swimming in heightened E.coli levels without knowing it. Since thousands of people use these beaches in summer it’s potentially a big problem,” he says. “The city says the sewage is treated by means of a sifting method, but I’ve heard first-hand that the sieves are damaged. This means anything flushed down a toilet lands in the sea. It’s unacceptable,” he wrote in his posts.
Ernest Sonnenberg, a Mayoral Committee member for utilities says the sewage is sieved to remove solids, toilet paper and objects larger than 3 mm in diameter. Bacteria are also monitored and treated.

According to Sonnenberg this process reduces the concentration of contamination in sewage by 99 percent before it enters the sea.

“The outfalls are a reasonable distance from the coast so the transport of waste water to the beach or other areas where people come into contact with the water is excluded.

“Beaches in proximity to the marine outfalls show no additional E. coli burden. In fact beaches such as Clifton and Camps Bay have successfully retained Blue Flag status over many years which would not be possible if the outfalls were contaminating our inshore waters.

“In addition the sea around Cape Town has some of the world’s strongest ocean currents, which quickly dilutes the waste water. Any sign of pollution on beaches is the result of activities on land rather than outfalls.”

Miller is a member of a project launched by the organisation Social Weaver to take water samples five times a week at Clifton and Camps Bay over a period of three weeks. The project is financed by Code of Africa. Miller does the photography for the project with a drone.

Miller says the aim of the project is to make the public aware of what’s going on so close to our beautiful beaches. “Our aim is to create a more detailed analysis of what the water actually contains,” Miller says.

“The City of Cape Town does do testing, but only fortnightly. The results that I have seen from January to June 2016 are disturbing in the frequency of elevated levels of the bacteria E.coli and Enterococcus.

“We hope to be able to put together enough evidence to be able to predict when and where the levels of bacteria will be higher, based on tides, wind, and current.

“Everyone involved in the project is committed to clean air and water, and we all enjoy Cape Town's outdoor environment. We want the disposal options for wastewater to be as transparent and as healthy as possible.”

Miller says the problem spots are at Camps Bay near Maiden’s Cove, Green Point and Mouille Point.

The Cape Town municipality has ways of treating the sewage to remove solids but “it’s essentially raw sewerage that goes into the ocean close to our Blue Flag beaches. The water gets into the sand and that makes me sick to my stomach.”

The data from the water sample tests will be placed on a website daily.

Sonnenberg says this method of dealing with sewage is used in cities such as New York, Barcelona and Sydney. There are currently no plans to replace this infrastructure.

Water at Cape Town’s beaches is tested every two weeks. The water at Clifton’s Fourth Beach, Llandudno and Camps Bay is tested every week to make sure the water quality is what you would expect from a Blue Flag beach.

Wastewater disposal through an effective outfall with preliminary treatment is an affordable, effective, and reliable solution that is simple to operate and with minimal health and environmental impacts,” Sonnenberg says.

“Environmental assessments indicate that the outfalls are functioning adequately and within their design capacity, with no threat to water quality at our beaches. The City operates 27 wastewater treatment plants, several of which do require an immediate increase in treatment capacity to accommodate this rapidly developing city.”

Thursday, 10 November 2016

New station commander for Camps Bay Police

Captain Keith Chandler in his office at Diep River police station.
 KAREN WATKINS November 10, 2016
After 30 years, Keith Chandler’s contribution to protecting and serving the community has been recognised.
At 11am on November 1 he heard that he had not only been given a promotion, from warrant officer to captain, but also a new position. From November 21 he will take over the reins as station commander at Camp’s Bay police station.
Since his wife Adriana broke the news, dozens of people have been congratulating him and saying how he will be missed and that the promotion is well deserved. She wrote on Facebook: “I am WAAAAYYYYY too excited and proud to keep this a secret any longer. My amazing husband”
Speaking to him last Friday at his corner office at Diep River police station his excitement bubbled over as he spoke of his past, his dreams and his future. Quietly spoken, Captain Chandler is surely an example of his profession and yet he’s also a force to be reckoned with.
As a child growing up in Plumstead, he attended John Graham Primary and then Plumstead High.
His first vocation choice was that of a Roman Catholic priest but this was not meant to be. Instead he applied to join the police force at Diep River.
He started the next day.
Since then he has moved around from Westbrook when PW Botha was the state president, to Soweto. Then back to Diep River in 1993 to join the Gang Unit. Three years later he joined the flying squad where he learnt advanced SWAT and driving skills. In 2006 he returned to Diep River where he has stayed until now, all the time taking whatever opportunities to advance his skills and knowledge.
Asked if the move to Camp’s Bay meant that he could sit with his feet on the desk and go swimming every day, he laughed.
Captain Chandler visited Camp’s Bay the previous day and says the station is in poor shape. He says crime in Camps Bay is very different to anywhere else. “They have 90 to 110 crimes in winter but this triples during the summer season,” he said.
Other differences are that the Diep River precinct has a denser urban area, middle-class, a railway line and more property-related crimes with the odd violent crime. The area also has an industrial area, a large CBD and 115 second-hand dealers.
Camps Bay is more affluent, has no trains, low traffic flow, no second-hand dealers or antique shops but lots of B&Bs, hotels and multi-million rand homes, many for the rich and famous.
Asked about his highlights at Diep River, he said his legacy is that of the neighbourhood watches. “Other police stations look at us as a flagship. It’s all about communication,” he said.
Captain Chandler was involved in the formation of two of the first in the greater Cape Town – Plumstead and Bergvliet Kreupelbosch Meadowridge (BKM) watches. And since 2007 when they held the first snake patrol, they continue every three months.
He explained that security providers, Law Enforcement, police and patrollers driving their own vehicles covered with decals, drive through the suburbs. From an 84-year-old to a youngster who has just got his driving licence.
“People are so tired of crime. Each time it gets bigger, with 56 on the last. When we go out in force like this, we don’t get crime,” said Captain Chandler.
But many residents know him through his involvement in policing narcotics.
From undercover drug operations to talks in schools, neighbourhood watch meetings and shopping malls – he doesn’t tell them not to do drugs but shows them what happens if they do.
Among other memorable successes were “catching” two babies and working with volunteer reservists. “We have the best score in the Western Cape with 12 who worked 780 hours last month. They’re supposed to work 192,” he added.
Captain Chandler recruits and trains these reservists. And while he might be moving station, he will stay in Plumstead and continue to be part of its neighbourhood watch and report suspicious behaviour. “It (police force) is not a job, it’s a passion, a calling,” he smiled.
In his spare time, he coaches soccer at Tramways and goes to gym every morning and trail running at night.
He also enjoys collecting antiques, especially silver.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sewage Outfall Camps Bay

AGM 2016 Agenda

Welcome from the ChairApologiesApproval of previous minutes
Chair's reportCouncillor Shane Ramsay introduction & questionsRenaming of CBRRAElection of Management Committee 2016/17Marine Outfall From Camps Bay Beach

CBRRA Public Meeting Minutes May 2016

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Bowling club to appeal rezoning

The Camps Bay Bowling Club (CBBC) will appeal the decision by the Municipal Planning Tribunal last week to rezone a piece of City-owned land for educational use.
The move to rezone the land makes way for the Camps Bay Preparatory School to expand.
The Camps Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (CBRRA), however, are still hopeful of a shared option between the club and the school.
CBBC have used the land for almost 100 years and have about 50 active members.
Principal of Camps Bay Primary, Stuart Collier, who has been involved in the negotiations, said they were pleased with the decision by the tribunal.
He said the decision to rezone the land to include educational purposes was a significant step in the process.
With regards to the plans to expand the school, Mr Collier said: “The school will wait for the final outcome of the lease process which involves termination of the present lease with the bowling club and signing of the lease by the Western Cape Education Department on behalf of the school.
“The school has plans ready to upgrade the parking area, convert part of the parking area into much needed play space as well as to create a sportsfield. The building will be utilised for classrooms and the hall used for assemblies. A requirement of the rezoning approval is that we will need to landscape the property with indigenous plants, and we have plans for that.”
He added that provision will also be made for proper signage for the safety of the children crossing from the existing school to the new area.
Mr Collier said the school had been negotiating for a shared option but that these negotiations had proven difficult. “As stated by the tribunal it is ultimately up to the owner of the land (the City of Cape Town) to make a decision on a shared option; the tribunal was only making a decision on the rezoning of the land.
“The school has always been interested in a shared option from the outset six years ago, however, negotiations with the bowling club on a shared option have so far been fruitless and unproductive.”
Michael Brand, president of the CBBC, said he was disappointed with the City’s decision and said the whole process was unnecessary. “My feeling is that the City has other plots in Camps Bay that council could have used for the school.”
He said they would be appealing the rezoning decision, saying: “We have our lawyers on it.”
Mr Brand added that they were still open to a shared option with the school and would be discussing the matter at a club meeting next week.
Ian Neilson, City of Cape Town executive deputy mayor, confirmed that the condition in the lease approval is that as soon as the planning issues have been resolved and approved, the City will issue a three-month notice to the club to vacate. “Whether they will still be able to occupy the land after that would be a discussion between the club and the new lessee.The approval process is still appealable and therefore no final approval has been granted yet.”
Johan van Der Merwe, Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, added that the City was now in the process of informing all parties of the decision and their appeal rights. “Once any appeals have been processed and a final decision reached, the applicant will need to comply with any specific conditions of the rezoning approval before the property can be used for the rezoned purposes.”
Mr Van Der Merwe said the school would be able to build on the land, subject to certain conditions. However, he added: “From the application, it is understood that the applicant intends making use of the existing buildings on the site.”
Chris Willemse, chairperson of the CBRRA, said the tribunal’s decision last week had not come as a surprise. “The City has not been involved in any talks between the parties and, as the land owner, it would have to consider any resolution between the parties. It is assumed that the City would favourably consider any option that is in the best interests of the community, school and club.”
He said the tribunal did not make any decision on the lease as that was beyond the scope of the application, which was merely to determine the acceptability of the rezoning from (Public) Open Space 2 to Community Zone 1, which allows a place of instruction.
Mr Willemse added: “The CBRRA remains steadfast in its commitment to a shared option, which is the only sensible solution to ensure the optimal use of this very important land parcel in the village – and prevent any possible private, commercial development of the land at a later stage.
“There is certainly enough land for both the school and the bowls club to co-exist and retain a 100- year old sports club and also allow for the necessary expansion of the school.”
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for the MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer, said they were pleased with the tribunal’s decision. “We are pleased with the outcome of the decision but are aware that this decision can still be challenged by the objectors, which will further delay the actual use of the property by Camps Bay Prep School.
“Over the last five years each grade has expanded to include an extra class so we do need extra space to accommodate the learners that are accommodated at the prep school which is currently congested, as well as to accommodate pupil growth.”

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Green Point Common recognised as worthy to become provincial heritage site

Nomination is supported in principle by HWC

The GPRRA and heritage officials at the City of Cape Town have made a successful joint nomination for Green Point Common to become a Provincial Heritage Site. In August 2016 Heritage Western Cape (HWC) agreed that the Common is heritage-worthy. It commented that it includes many sites of historic importance, but that the general heritage significance lies primarily in its long history as a public resource for sports and recreation. At  the Inventories, Gradings and Interpretations Committee (IGIC) meeting on 16 February 2017, HWC was instructed to continue with the application indicating that the nomination is fully supported.

What is Green Point Common?

The original erf that was granted to the people of Cape Town, and vested to the City, was Public Open Space that covered the whole area between the buildings on Beach Road and Green Point Main Road and from Three Anchor Bay across to Fort Wynyard and along a long ‘tail’ leading to today’s Gallows Hill Traffic Department precinct. Since the grant in 1923 several changes have taken place, such as deductions, building and road construction and major landscaping. The City leases out portions to various sports clubs.

What is to be protected?

Proposed PHS boundary options were presented to the Committee, which preferred Option C. This includes what we have called the historic core, and excludes the leg to Gallow's Hill.

How would the PHS be managed?

The City is the property owner and HWC is the heritage authority. The City enters into a Heritage Management Agreement with HWC (s.42 of the NHRA) in order to jointly manage the PHS. Most importantly, this Agreement lays out in detail who needs to do what under certain circumstances - it clarifies roles and responsibilities. For instance, where the City must get approval for an action from HWC or where it does not need to. What can happen in a given area, and what cannot.
Civic groups and members of the public have an important role in implementing and monitoring any plans or agreements. There are already several in place, including those negotiated with residents and ratepayers to regulate issues such as security, noise, traffic and litter for events. This new agreement relates specifically to heritage protection and management.

Revised nomination document

Please take a look at the documents below:

Mayco report

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Cape Town - The Camps Bay Bowling Club has lost a major battle in its attempts to hold on to the property it has leased from the city for nearly a century.

The Municipal Planning Tribunal has decided in favour of an application to rezone several erven of 6 710m² from open space to community zone, which paves the way for the Camps Bay Preparatory School to use the property in future.

The city had already agreed to a 10-year lease with the Western Cape Department of Education two years ago to address overcrowding and the lack of play area for the children at the school.

The rezoning does not permit additional buildings on the property.

On Wednesday, Camps Bay Bowling Club president Michael Brand said the fight was not yet over and he would meet lawyers to decide on the next step.

The club, which was established in 1919, has about 50 active members and a long lease with the city until 2018. It can still appeal the tribunal’s decision to the mayor.

Tribunal chairman David Daniels said the tribunal concurred with arguments advanced by the applicants that the rezoning would allow for more optimal use of the space by catering to a broader community.

“The land is public land and we have to decide what is the highest and best use of that land,” said Daniels.

“If the parties still want to continue discussions (to share the property) that’s for the parties to decide. The rezoning doesn’t preclude that option.”

Daniels said the tribunal had considered the fact that the school did not have any playing facilities and that it catered for children beyond the Camps Bay community.

In its objections to the city, the bowling club had used this fact to argue the opposite - that because many of the children were not residents of the area, the bowling club represented a broader spectrum of the Camps Bay community.

But Daniels said that although the tribunal was sympathetic to the long history of the club, the needs of the school outweighed this.

“The fact that the school is serving a much larger community interest and beyond Camps Bay is extremely important. It’s a transformative consideration,” he said.

The head of the Camps Bay Preparatory School, Linda Murray, said the school was in desperate need of space to play sport, such as cricket and netball.

The school also needed extra classrooms.

Murray said the school would look to convert the existing buildings for its needs.

The school has 235 pupils from Grade R to Grade 2.

“Our staff don’t even have a staff room. They have to make use of a small aftercare room in the mornings,” Murray said.

She said pupils who attended the school came not only from Camps Bay, but Sea Point, Hout Bay and Green Point. The school had also received an application from Robben Island.

Camps Bay Primary School principal Stuart Collier said he was pleased with the tribunal’s decision. “We haven’t gained access to the property just yet, but it’s a significant step,” he said.

He pointed out that it could still be some time before the school was able to use the space.

“We are just sitting and waiting to see whether the lease will be terminated. Those discussions are between the provincial department and the city.” Collier said the school was still open to discussions with the bowling club on sharing the property, but past attempts had been “fruitless and to no avail”.

Camps Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association chairman Chris Willemse, said the tribunal’s decision was a “cop out” but expected. He said there was still room to negotiate shared use of the space.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Hope for end of Camps Bay Bowling Club saga

Cape Town - A five-year-long wrangle over the Camps Bay Bowling Club being incorporated into the Camps Bay Preparatory School could finally be resolved this week.

The Municipal Planning Tribunal is set to consider a decision by the city council to rezone several erven totalling 6 710m2 to allow for the school to expand on to the property.

The bowling club, which is double the size of the school, enjoys the use of the council property until 2018.

“The arguments put forward by the objectors are not agreed with as they relate to the limited use of the property for a small sector of the local population that does not have a broader social benefit that could be provided by the use of the property for a place of instruction,” said the council’s report.

But the Camps Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’Association (CBRRA) is digging in its heels, and plans to make an oral appeal to the tribunal on Tuesday to consider shared use of the property.

CBRRA chairman Chris Willemse said the facility was not exclusively used by members of the bowling club as suggested, and that the hall was frequented daily for a variety of recreational and sports activities.

“The retention of a 100-year-old bowling club should take precedence,” he said.

“Our point of view is the shared option is the correct way to do it. More time and effort need to be put into it.”

At present there are no plans to build new buildings on the site, rather the school would convert the existing buildings into classrooms and use the grounds for sports and play areas.

Originally the Western Cape government had wanted to buy the property to meet the needs of the ever-growing, overcrowded school.

But after negotiations with the city, a 10-year, non-negotiable lease was agreed to in June 2014.

Last year, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of the bowling club, after attempts to change the club’s lease conditions to give the school immediate access to the space.

Willemse said the city’s suggestion that the Camps Bay and Glen bowling clubs should merge, would not work given the city’s plans to redevelop Maiden’s Cove.

According to a report that will be considered by the tribunal, there are no other viable sites within the area for the school to expand physically.

The school has been battling to overcome overcrowding for a number of years. It’s had to erect makeshift classrooms and make use of the public park.

While objectors said half the pupils at the school were not residents of the area and that the bowling club’s present usage represented a broader spectrum of the Camps Bay community, the Western Cape education department said children from outside the area could not be denied an opportunity to attend the school.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Stakeholders meet to formalise Camps Bay CID

From left are Jeff and David Solomon from Solomon Brothers Holdings, Marc Truss, CEO of Green Point and Oranje Kloof CID, Mayco member JP Smith, Mark Vella, head of the Camps Bay Improvement District, Bernard Schafer, chairman, Camps Bay Community Policing Forum, David Raad, chairman of the Camps Bay Business Forum, Nicolette van der Walt, national director – Child Protection, Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Verening (ACVV).
More than 40 people, among them those who want to formalise the Camps Bay Improvement District (CBID), heads of local stakeholder organisations and City officials gathered at a business breakfast on Friday May 27.
The Camps Bay Improvement District was started in 2015 by Mark Vella with the support of the Camps Bay Business Forum (CBBF), but has not yet been formally constituted.
“The CBBF recognised that as other communities have become improvement districts and taken responsibility for their urban management. They have attracted investment, key tenants, top events, and people to their district,” said Mr Vella.
The CBID, which is still informal, was launched in October last year and already has more than 40 members.
“The discussion has now moved to unifying Camps Bay stakeholders around the formation of a formal City Improvement District.
“This is why this business breakfast was so important. It deepens the conversation and grows the momentum towards this next step.”
A City Improvement District, technically known as a Special Rating Area (SRA), refers to a clearly defined geographical area in which property owners pay additional rates for that specific area as per the approved business plan.
These additional rates are used to provide additional municipal top-up services such as public security and safety measures, cleansing, infrastructure maintenance, upgrading of the environment, and social services.
There are 35 formal CIDs in Cape Town.
Mr Vella added: “If we keep thinking the same, and behaving the same, we will stay the same.
“If we are to form a CID in Camps Bay, we need to be respectful, collaborative and progressive in our approach. But there is a long way to go, and a lot of constructive dialogue and work to be done. It’s a long systematic process that must be followed with proper consideration to all stakeholders.”
The main speakers were a joint panel with JP Smith, the Mayco member for safety and security; and Marc Truss, the CEO of the Green Point and Oranje Kloof City Improvement Districts.
Mr Truss, speaking of the experience gained from 15 years with the Green Point CID, explained the benefits and challenges that a CID formation had in Green Point and how this changed Green Point over the years.
Mr Smith added that CIDs had become valuable urban management partners with the City of Cape Town.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Cape Argus: City of Cape Town ‘bulldozing’ through developments

City of Cape Town ‘bulldozing’ through developments
30 May 2016 at 18:23pm
By: Helen Bamford

Cape Town - Civic organisations from across the city are becoming increasingly concerned at the cosy relationship between the City of Cape Town and private developers, saying inappropriate developments were being bulldozed through with objections routinely ignored.
Most don’t have the resources for lengthy court battles, but some, like the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) Food and Farming Campaign, have approached the public protector to investigate alleged illegal practices, while others, like the Far South Peninsula Community Forum, are organising petitions to highlight their objections to over-development.
Patrick Dowling, who heads up the Kommetjie Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association and the Far South Peninsula Community Forum, said a participatory democracy was meant to be one in which inputs from the people were taken seriously in the decision-making process.
“The experience of many civic bodies is that, instead, it is perfunctory with top-down executive outcomes the order of the day.”
Cape Town Greater Civic Alliance chairman Philip Bam said they were very concerned about the unbridled inappropriate development over Cape Town.
Bam said there were suspicions that certain developers were favoured.
The city’s proposed plans for Maiden’s Cove have also come under fire, with Chris Willemse, chairman of the Camps Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association, describing the sale of the nature reserve as “a breathtaking example of a land grab of scarce public open space for private development and private enrichment”.
In a report back at a public meeting last week, Willemse described the relationship between the city and developers as a “very sweet and mutually rewarding” one.
He warned it was also open to abuse. “And abused it is in Cape Town.”
Willemse said developers were now driving the process, with the ruling DA simply doing the industry’s bidding in return for massive party funding.
He added that many of the developments were not in the areas of most need and were mostly inappropriate.
Willemse said the Municipal Planning Tribunal, launched last year, which rules on planning applications in the city, was filled mostly with development-friendly members.
Johan van der Merwe, mayco member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, said the tribunal comprised some of the best independent professional planning consultants in Cape Town and experienced senior city officials, all of whom had been appointed after anopen, transparent and robust selection process. (exclusively by the Mayor and all DA/developer friendly …… my edit)
He said various other measures were put in place to ensure good governance with appropriate checks and balances.
Commenting on the city’s new Municipal Planning bylaw, which came into operation last July, Nazeer Sonday, who heads up the PHA Food and Farming Campaign, said the bylaw had virtually no public participation requirement.
Sonday said they were not against development. “But development for the sake of development does not support a productive economy.”
Dowling added that development proposals over the past several years had routinely been approved in the face of consistent and voluble objections from many residents’ associations around Cape Town who were seeking to “defend the urban edge, to urge caution aroundinfrastructure stress, to reject the aggravation of gridlocked traffic congestion and to protect valued heritage sites and key environmental assets”.
He said at a meeting the Far South Peninsula Community Forum had with mayor Patricia de Lille and officials in 2013, they were told it wasn’t possible to put a moratorium on development approvals until infrastructure issues had been sorted out.
Dowling said the thousands of signatures collected during their “Gatvol” petition campaign showed the public was not happy with the way this understanding and the commitment to “work with the community on these complex issues” had been implemented.
The petition, which was circulated on social media, calls for an end to “greedy over-development”, citing traffic congestion and lack of schools.
Professor Edda Weimann, a resident of Newlands Village, has also raised concern over unchecked development, saying the character of the suburb had changed in recent years.
She said the suburb, with its tiny streets, couldn’t cope with the “exploding traffic” and insufficient infrastructure.

Cape Argus

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

CBCRA Public Meeting agenda and message from the chair


Monday 23 MAY 2016 at 18h30 at THE ROTUNDA, BAY HOTEL

1               Welcome
2               Apologies
3               Chair’s introduction
4               Councillors’ report back
5               The City’s land-grab of Maidens Cove
6               Camps Bay Medics
7               Traffic
8               Name change for the Association
9               Planning
10            The Prep School & Bowling Club saga
11            Finances
12            Close

Message from the chair

Welcome to all.

Firstly, a big thank you to Maree Brink and the Bay Hotel who are always most generous with their hospitality – and special thanks here to Events Manager, Lloyd Brown and his team, for all of the arrangements, especially Rolanda, who has prepared the table tonight.

Elections for local government are soon upon us and it is the duty of the CBRRA to inform you of the performance of local councilors and the City administration over their past term in office. But I’ll deal with this later.

Rob Tiffin of the Zwaanswyk Ratepayers association and a civic organizer, has kindly agreed to share his thoughts and plans with us tonight and this relates to how we can best represent ourselves in the current system.

Unfortunately, Phillip Bam, a tireless fighter for civic rights in CT was unable to attend tonight. His experience of local government, especially concerning the land issues surrounding the attempted sale by the de Lille regime of the Princess Vlei area and the ongoing illegal incremental development of the Philippi Horticultural Area.

Also, Cllrs Jacques Weber and Marga Haywood are currently out of town and have sent their apologies. Neither will not be standing in the upcoming election. Cllr Demetri Qually, the Chair of the GHSC, is otherwise engaged this evening and also has sent his apologies.

Tonight’s meeting will take the form of a report-back of the most pressing and relevant matters pertaining to the Camps Bay civic landscape. We will keep it as short and to the point as possible and take questions after each item.
Of course, the committee will be available after the meeting to discuss any issues that you may have in more detail.

I’ll start off with an overview from the Chair:


The Manco thus is made up of the following members:

Chris Willemse (Chair) Ward Committee (74) and Planning
Richard Bendel (Vice Chair)  Membership and Finance
Brenda Herbert Planning and Events and CPF
Johan van Papendorp Planning
Gus Millner Membership
Alma Horn Membership and PR
Helet Merkling Clifton
Byron Herbert Beach and Events
Neil Gardner Maidens Cove Development
Michael Smorenburg Communications

The Manco is in great need of an additional planning member – someone who has technical experience and knowledge of the local government procedures and law. If you feel that this is you or you can suggest a suitable candidate, please let me know.

There is good news on the financial side, which Richard will deal with later.

In my opinion – and with twenty years of dealing directly with various City administrations – it is very difficult to rate an administration holistically and tonight I’ll confine my comments to the current de Lille administration:
On the whole, the administration adequately manages the line functions of services such as roads, stormwater and parks. Of course, the problems with sewerage disposal into the Atlantic Ocean is extremely problematic and the politicians are clearly ducking and diving this issue – to the utter detriment of the environment and citizens.
However, all – and I mean all - civic bodies throughout the City battle with this administration in terms of planning and land issues. This is, unfortunately, a regime that has, as its primary goal, a one-sided development (and developer) friendly policy.

One needs to unpack this approach: Firstly, it would be naïve to simply reject development, as it is an important part of the progress and wealth generation for any city administration and critical to its very existence. And from the political viewpoint, it is a no-brainer for a ruling party in that the planning approval process generates income for the City, the construction phase offers short-term employment opportunities and the completed buildings are a major source of rates. Developers are always desperate for opportunities and, with their often very deep pockets, are generous with party funding. So, all I all, a very sweet and mutually rewarding relationship.
However, this is also a relationship that is open to abuse. And abused it is in Cape Town. The political system has to be strong to drive the correct type of development, and this in the face of the paymaster developers simply want the richest pickings – and why not, from their profit driven point of view?
This is where the system and the DA have failed. Developers are now driving the process with the ruling DA simply doing the industry’s bidding in return for massive party funding. Mayor de Lille has a fast-track strategy for identifying City-owned land for development. However, it is not in the areas of most need and is mostly completely inappropriate.
The sale of the nature reserve at Maidens Cove will be addressed by Neil and is a breathtaking example of a land grab of scarce public open space for private development and private enrichment.
De Lille recently had to back down in the sale of Princess Vlei to a preferred developer due to massive public outcry and, despite a legal directive from central government specifically prohibiting it, de Lille is slowly rezoning and selling off the Philippi Horticultural Area. I must remind you that this area supplies about 70% of Cape Town’s green vegetable requirements. It is also located above the Cape Flat’s precious groundwater aquifer. None of this deters the mayor from grabbing this land for her friends in the development industry. And that, quite frankly, is scary.

To touch on the councilors, I would like to point out that both our councillors have served the area well – albeit in their own ways.
It is important to recognize that ward councillors are generally carefully controlled by the party caucus and cannot help much with the party’s major policy.
Marga has always been available to address planning issues but, sadly, the planning department has long been a law unto itself and now has political backing in high places. It appears as if she finally fell out with the senior party management and was instrumental in the successful court action brought against the City by certain Bakoven residents and the CBRRA.
Just to give you an idea of de Lille’s management style, in this case of an illegally approved bungalow plan, she entered into litigation with the community (using our money, of course) against the express advice of the City’s legal department. The matter was in court when she learnt that Marga was willing to testify on behalf of the community, which might have resulted in certain senior DA councillors being found guilty of perjury – so she immediately dropped the case and offered to pay costs. All this with other people’s money!
We will be reporting this abuse of process which resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure of ratepayers money to the Public Protector’s office. It has become patently clear that de Lille is very quick to litigate with taxpayers’ money in order to scare off challenges to her rule.

We had this in the Bowling Club matter, the Wynberg MyCiti matter and most recently in the Chrissie Phillip’s vs Bradbury matter, also in Bakoven. The former two cases were lost by the City, with costs.
I’ll keep you updated on the CP matter, where judgement is expected soon.

Jacques was extremely helpful in most areas, especially security – but bought into the DA’s line on expropriating public land for private profit and DA funding. In fact, he actively supported the sale of the Maidens Cove area, although the civic organizations in his ward were dead against it. Maybe he planned on staying longer in the DA than has actually happened!
I understand that he is headed for the commercial world.

We wish them both success in their future career paths.

Bearing in mind that the CBRRA is not a politically aligned body – and that Rob Tiffin is definitely civic based – I call on Rob to address us on his take on the political situation in CT.

Neil Gardner will give his insights into the Maidens Cove development.

Camps Bay Medics – Ian Austin.

Byron Herbert will update traffic matters.

Name change. Proposed renaming to Camps Bay & Clifton Residents Association. To be ratified at next AGM.

Planning. With renewed confidence in the Atlantic seaboard property market, the applications are increasing noticeably.
We urge all affected neighbours to contact the CBRRA if they are unsure about an application.

Eban Tucker reports on the CBBC CBPS saga.

Finance – Richard Bendel

Questions from the floor.