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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Beach protest Maidens Cove

Residents took part in a gentrification protest at Maidens Cove on Heritage Day.
Thousands of people from across Cape Town filled the Maiden’s Cove braai area on Monday (Heritage Day) as part of the bring-and-share picnic and braai by Maiden’s Cove for All( MCA), a non-profit organisation established in June to ensure continued access for all to the public open space at Maiden’s Cove.
The protest – a first of its kind – aimed to highlight and embrace the heritage of the country and the significance of the Maiden’s Cove area.
The crowd held hands and formed a human chain as former Constitutional Court judge, anti-apartheid activist and the patron of the organisation, Albie Sachs, addressed them.
“I’m standing here and hoping to fight for the freedom of the people; freedom to enjoy beauty, freedom to be who we are, freedom to feel free and the freedom to be in touch with nature,” he said.
Mr Sachs, a Clifton resident, said the council didn’t have the right to sell off the land and they would fight them in every way they can.
He urged the crowd to support them morally and speak to their councillors to fight the matter.
He said it was important to preserve the beauty of the area, especially people who cannot afford to go overseas for holidays. “The council wants to sell off this land and build residential homes, retail and restaurant spaces for rich people and we’re saying Maiden’s Cove belongs to the people. In the days of apartheid, only whites could get to access the beautiful sands of Camps Bay and Clifton and the people of colour came here and made Maiden’s Cove their own,” he said.
Mr Sachs went on to say that they wanted to get the whole of Cape Town involved in deciding what could be done with the space to make it better and more accessible for more people. He said there could be improvements in the area but they have to include everybody and not just rich people. “This is a very remarkable space and people love this space. This is a place where people can feel they’re free human beings and get in touch with nature and themselves. You could come here in the middle of winter and you’d find people here even when it’s drizzling and that’s more precious than anything,” he said.
Janey Ball ofMCA, said most people she’d spoken to were not aware of what is being planned for the area.”This place belongs to the heritage of people who, historically were not allowed to come to the beaches in Cape Town except for this area. If we were to allow the development to happen, the accessibility of the space would be removed and everything would be replaced by luxury bungalows,” said Ms Ball.
A protester, Obed Zilwa, who resides in Pinelands, said: “Maiden’s Cove is the place for everyone. It is far away from our homes and the only beauty we have access to and it belongs to the people. The planned development in this area would not be of any benefit for us.”
Sharing these sentiment, fellow protester, Sarah Coert, from Elsies River, said she’s recently learned about the proposed development. “I usually come here during the festive season and when I learnt about the development, I decided to come and be part of this because this is the only free place where we get to braai and unwind. The development will benefit the higher class people, they (the City council) don’t care about us. I don’t know where we are going to go if this goes ahead,” she said.
The development of Maiden’s Cove has been an ongoing issue since 2015 and some political parties have weighed in on the issue. The African Christian Democratic Party’s Grant Haskin said: “We’re fighting the matter for a few reasons which include, a poor traffic plan, the heritage and environment of the area, access to this space and poor water and sewage plan.”
He said people have been coming to this area for years and the proposed development would be a basic exclusive for the rich.
The ANC has declared their support for the court challenge by the MCA (“Maiden’s Cove land sale challenged,” Atlantic Sun, August 30). In a statement released by the provincial secretary, Faiez Jacobs, the party said the City has once again flouted the constitutional imperative of public consultation before embarking on a significant development that would alter people’s lives. “The people have a protected right, even against their own municipality, to give consent to this kind of development. It may well be that when people balance between development and conservation, they may give such a consent but that consent must be sought. We are confident that the courts will be on the side of the people,” read the statement.
When asked for comment on the matter, the City’s mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, Stuart Diamond, said: “The Bungalow Owners’ Association and others recently filed a review application to set aside the sale of the said City-owned property. This matter is still before the Western Cape High Court, and the City will not comment until the case has been finalised.”
By Sinazo Mkoko

Friday, 21 September 2018

Renaming of Link Road to Theatre Lane - Pieter Toerien letter

Proposal to rename Camps Bay road after Theatre on the Bay

PRODUCER and theatre manager Pieter Toerien stands in front of the Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, as it undergoes renovations. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Producer Pieter Toerien has plans to change the name of one of the city’s upmarket streets.

The city council’s naming and nomination committee will today consider a request to rename Link Road in Camps Bay to Theatre Lane, the road in which the Theatre on the Bay is situated.

Toerien said: “With renovations of Theatre On The Bay under way it would be the perfect time to make a request to rename Link Road to Theatre Lane and so inject a new vibrancy and interest in our area.”

Toerien said the name Link Road lacks the potential to reflect the pride and vibrancy of the road.

“I feel that renaming the road would include our valuable neighbours in such vibrancy.
“What has been lacking is the personality of the location; I would like to bolster the personality of our beautiful street and in doing so raise the profile of our neighbourhood,” he said.

Toerien believes personality is what drives tourists to return every year.
“I remain committed to the betterment of Camps Bay in every way possible, not only as a business owner, but also as a long-standing resident with an unflagging passion for our beautiful spot in the sun,” he said.

A document undersigned by mayoral committee member for urban development and transport Brett Herron, said the committee considered the renaming proposal and would recommend to mayor Patricia de Lille and the Mayco to authorise public participation should the proposal be supported.

The only technical requirement on this proposal is to change the signage to reflect the new road name.

Cape Argus

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Untrussed tree tiff - neighbours and City

The cork tree on Central Drive had its branches cut down.
Neighbours on Central Drive in Camps Bay are up in arms that City parks cut huge branches from an exotic cork tree in the area last week.
Marilyn Coulstock, said the nearly 100-year-old tree was full of bird life which had been missing since the cutting.
There’s currently construction work under way on the site and the City was instructed by the owner to cut off the big branches. “They could have trimmed it, but not cut down huge branches that will never grow again. It took them three days to take the wood away,” said Ms Coulstock, who accused developers of not caring about the environment.
“We need people in the area, as it develops, to be more cognizant of the environment because it was what attracted them in the first place and before we know it, it might just disappear,” she said.
The chairperson of the Camps BayandCliftonResidents’ andRatepayers’Association (CBCRRA), Chris Willemse, said they were against the cutting of the protected trees that have been in the area for decades. He said when he spoke to the City, he was told the tree had to be cut.
“The developer said they had a problem with the tree because it was hanging over the boundary wall,” he said.
Construction foreman, Jonathan Rihs, said the big branches had made it impossible for them to work.
“We could work with it, but it made our work a lot more difficult so to save us hassles, the client made arrangements to have the tree branches cut down,” he said.
Another resident, Lucinda Dare, shared Ms Coulstock’s sentiments that the tree should have been trimmed instead, and recalled that when she was having her house built, she was not allowed to cut a tree that was in the way.
“We had to build around the tree because it was protected and needed to be preserved and now my walls are cracking because the roots have become so big. But I love the tree; it does help the neighbourhood,” she said.
The City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith, said after an assessment, the City’s recreation and parks department had decided that “corrective pruning” would be a more viable solution than removal and subsequently pruned the branches of the tree that were up against the property wall.
“The owner requested the removal of the tree as she is currently in the process of renovating the property and the said tree encroaches upon the boundary wall.
“This was deemed necessary as the contractors working on the renovations of the property were unable to safely erect the scaffolding required to work on the front side of the building. The branches would also have continued to damage the outer walls of the building if left untrimmed,” he said.
By Sinzo Mkoko

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Plan to lease land for cell mast

The City has proposed to lease a portion of its own land off Victoria road in Camps Bay, near the NSRI building, to Vodacom for a cell mast.
This was discussed at the Sub-council 16 meeting on Tuesday August 14.
The council unanimously recommended that the lease of a portion of the be approved under several conditions.
Among the conditions was that the City approved a rental of more than R10 000 a month excluding VAT. The lease would be in place for 10 years, increasing by 8% annually.
The City recommended that the property be used for telecommunications infrastructure only.
This site was identified by Vodacom with a plan to improve network coverage and accommodate a large number of tourists in the area. The council said this was one of the ways to encourage the public to start using smart technology as a way of communication.
The council heard that the cell mast would blend in Camps Bay and it would have no visual impact.
The chairman of the Camps Bay and Clifton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, Chris Willemse, said he didn’t believe that putting the cell mast there was the best decision.
Mr Willemse said they would need inspectors to make sure that the residents were safe.
By Sinazo Mkoko