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Friday, 30 November 2018

Maiden's Cove festive concert plans rejected

Sub-council 16 has unanimously rejected an application to host a five-day concert at Maiden’s Cove next month.
The applicant, SP Events CC, applied in January this year to the City’s recreation and parks department for the use of the public open space from December 27 to December 31.
It was heard that the applicant’s representative, Mark Abrahams, visited the booking office and insisted that the clerk issue SP Events with an invoice and prescribed certain conditions to be included in the invoice.
Sub-council heard that one of the conditions entailed that they could apply for a liquor licence.
Last year, SP Events held a similar event in this space.
Sub-council heard that one of the conditions of the permit for hosting the event was that they had to remove the infrastructure used by 6am on January 1 but they had failed to do so on time which caused a safety hazard for the public visiting the beach on New Year’s Day.
The booking was cancelled by the office as it was not in accordance with the established practice. This resulted in a dispute between the parties, internal appeals and the matter going to the High Court.
The City’s recreation and parks departmentmaintainedthat although the company had hosted similar events in the park on the public space, it did not support the event as it was held over the peak period of the festive season.
They said the event would deprive the broader community of the use and enjoyment of the public open space during this period.
They said Maiden’s Cove was one of the city’s most popular public open spaces and they wanted to ensure that it was open to all.
A letter from SP Events attorney Jan Hilderbrand to sub-council, stated that SP Events had previously submitted applications to the City’s Recreation and Parks department and procedures which had to be followed have always been the same and they complied with the City’s by-laws.
On the point of Maiden’s Cove being only limited to a select few, Mr Hilderbrand stated that the City was being inconsistent as they had showed an intention to privatise Maiden’s Cove, which had been met with outrage in various communities.
They argued that the failure to remove the infrastructure on time was an isolated incident and based on circumstances out of SP Events’ control.
After a short private discussion between the members of the sub-council, the matter was turned down by the full house.
Ward 54 councillor Shayne Ramsay said she had discussed this with ratepayers and residents in the area and there was a strong objection from all sides. She said residents were concerned about the traffic and crowd control issues.
Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding said Camps Bay and Clifton were the busiest beaches during the festive season.
“Maiden’s Cove has a history of people from all over visiting on these dates. The timing is wrong, we can’t afford a private event during this time.”
Sharing his sentiments, Ward 115 councillor, Dave Bryant, said the matter was not in the public interest.
Touching on the sub-council’s decision, Mr Abrahams said he had been in the events industry for over 18 years and did not believe the City had acted in good faith by changing the process which had been applied consistently in previous years.
He said the event created work for over 700 people over the New Year season and attracted a diverse crowd.
“Events of this nature are conducive to steady economic growth and tourism in the City which the City is reliant on especially during these tough economic times.
“I believe that the City has erred in its decision since the event
is exactly the sort of positive campaign that the City should align itself with.”
He said he had experienced resistance from the City and felt he had been targeted.
He told the Atlantic Sun he would appeal the sub-council’s decision.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Beach problems unpacked


The issue of homelessness and street people was among the items on the agenda of the Ward 54 committee’s last meeting for the year.
The committee met on Thursday November 1 at the Green Point Athletic Stadium. The ward includes Sea Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Robben Island, Signal Hill, Camps Bay, Bakoven and Clifton.
Chairperson of the Camps Bay Community Police Forum (CPF), Bernard Schafer, raised concern about the number of street children on the beachfront. He said there have been attempted robberies at the beachfront in the evenings.
Mr Schafer also spoke about the lack of facilities at Bakoven beach.
“People are starting to flood in and the problem is that there are no toilets there and they relieve themselves in between rocks,” he said.
Representing Camps Bay businesses, David Raad, said lighting was another major issue on Camps Bay’s beaches. He said law enforcement on the beach was needed.
“Street kids are harassing people there, particularly the tourists and this is not good for tourism in this city,” he said.
In Sea Point, Seafront for All’s Lorna Levy said homelessness was getting out of hand in the area. She said regulars were now starting to put up structures.
Chief Operations Officer of the Sea Point CID, Heather Tager, touched on the traffic problems in Sea Point.
“It’s chaotic and becoming worse every day and it’s not just the taxi drivers, private drivers are also a problem. People are now driving through red robots in Sea Point,” she said.
Ms Tager said big trucks were causing traffic chaos on Clarens Road. She also raised concerns about residents who were not reporting crime to the police.
She said Law Enforcement officers needed to be given more power. “We had a recent armed robbery in the area and our law enforcement chased the criminals and caught them in Heideveld,” she said.
Camps Bay Ratepayers’ Association’s vice-chairperson Richard Bendel proposed a paid parking lot along Victoria Road to minimise the number of car guards.
Ms Levy also complained about the dog poo left on the beach.
“There are dispensed doggy-poo bags but still dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs,” she said.
Ward councillor Shayne Ramsay said she would lobby for more funding for Law Enforcement in the ward.
She said a Clifton and Camps Bay City Improvement District (CID) was needed.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Liquor confiscated on beaches

Alcohol confiscated on city beaches.

Law enforcement officers confiscated 176 bottles of alcohol at Clifton, Camps Bay and Maidens Cove, on Saturday November 10.

Twelve fines of R500 each were issued to offenders.

The City of Cape Town has warned members of the public not to bring alcohol to beaches as it will be confiscated and fines will be issued to the perpetrators.

Officers, who were on foot patrol, confiscated 33 hats, 19 baseball caps and 16 sunglasses from illegal traders.

Some of the illegal traders have in the past been found to be selling alcohol among their other goods.

The City says officers will be cracking down on those who don’t follow procedure in terms of the informal trading rules.

By Atlantic Sun

Friday, 9 November 2018

Huge Crowds on Atlantic Seaboard Beaches

Authorities are urging beach-goers to stay safe during the festive season

As the festive season is upon us and the days are getting hotter, hundreds of people find themselves at different beaches, particularly the Atlantic Seaboard beaches. 

The warm weather last week attracted hundreds of people to Camps Bay and Clifton beaches and according to Ward 54 councillor, Shayne Ramsay, there were many complaints from residents about illicit activities that were taking place at the beaches. She said people consumed alcohol which resulted in disorderly behaviour endangering local residents and their properties. 

Ms Ramsay arranged a meeting with concerned Clifton and Camps Bay residents and other City officials to discuss the best approach to managing huge crowds on the beaches before the peak season begins. 

The officials heard that while there were police officers on the beach, they were not doing anything about the violence, claiming that they were only three and needed backup. 

Residents said the problem starts at Clifton 4th Beach parking lot where lots of alcohol was being consumed before and after going to the beach in both taxis and private vehicles. The officials heard that there have been three events on Clifton recently, including the valedictory in very windy weather and none of them was well controlled. It was suggested that every weekend should be treated as an event and private security should be employed to monitor the beaches accordingly. 
Green Point CID and Clifton Lifesaving, Marc Truss, suggested there are only three options which are offered by Safety and Security: hire an auxiliary officer; hire EPWP workers or hire a Rent-a-Cop.

Arne Purves from the City’s Marine and Coastal Law Enforcement team informed the meeting that although the coastal management act ensures right of access to the coast by all people at all times that in Kalk Bay, they successfully manage the crowds by employing Rent-a-Cops to assist.

When asked about the plan to combat the alcohol problem at Clifton 4th beach, City’s mayoral member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said: “While this may be problematic at Clifton 4th and on Camps Bay, statistics have shown that alcohol on the beaches along the False Bay coastline is an even bigger challenge. So we are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of ensuring equitable deployment in line with the level of enforcement required. Where possible, vehicles are searched when entering beach areas that have defined access points, but this isn’t always possible,”

Mr Smith said the process of fining offenders and impounding liquor is time-consuming as officers have to meticulously record the details of each confiscation. “In many instances, offenders are uncooperative – particularly if they are under the influence of alcohol. On really busy days, when thousands of people flock to the beach intent on bringing their alcohol with them, this process results in officers spending hours just writing fines and confiscating alcohol,” he said. 

Mr Smith said they take cognisance of the increase in visitors to the beaches during the peak season times. To accommodate the increase in visitors and its associated problems, a Festive Season Policing Operational Plan is conceptualised every year to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Cape Town. “Additional staff from the specialised units and off-duty staff are brought in on overtime to assist the staff that are already deployed. This has the effect of multiplying resources. A zero-tolerance approach is adopted to all transgressions of the law,” he said. 

He said the extra numbers are meant to combat this problem but it is not possible to stop everyone if thousands of people can enter the beaches through many open points.

By Sinazo Mkoko

Friday, 2 November 2018

Developer withdraws for Maidens Cove / Clifton Development.


Just two weeks after the City of Cape Town announced its withdrawal to oppose the Maiden’s Cove review application brought by a number of residents in the High Court, the developer has now followed suit and thrown in the towel on the matter.
The application was filed by the Bungalow Owners’ Association (BOA) and others asking the court to review and set aside the City’s decision to sell and lease the City-owned land between the Clifton bungalows and Camps Bay.
The decision by the City was welcomed by the applicants and local ratepayers who were supporting the applicants.
The developer, a private company called K2015298271 South Africa (Pty) Ltd has now told the applicants that they would no longer oppose the application.
The chairperson of the Camps Bay and Clifton Residents’ Association (CBCRRA), Chris Willemse, said this was good news that the legal matter surrounding the “ill-conceived” action by the City appears to be heading for the only logical conclusion possible – the abandonment of the project.
“However, it is now critical to unpack the City’s actions that led to this mess and there needs to be transparency and accountability. Further, the wasted expenditure on this project must be quantified and those who authorised it must be held responsible, preferably personally,” he said.
Mr Willemse said various ratepayer organisations, civic groups and citizens have been clearly spelling out the problem with the proposal for years now.
“The CBCRRA – and indeed all of Cape Town — owe a debt of gratitude to the Clifton Bungalow Owners and the Maiden’s Cove for All, who relentlessly pursued this matter and were prepared to take the matter to the High Court, especially against an administration which has a deplorable record of using ratepayers’ money to fight against its own citizens,” said Mr Willemse.
A member of Maiden’s Cove for All (MCA)* , Janey Ball, said the effect was that they would go to court unopposed and have to settle costs.
She said they want a seat on the table on the new plan for the site.
Ms Ball said the proposed development would not be happening and the on the day of the hearing, the judge will issue an order of who pays what costs.
BOA’s Richard Summers said this was an equally significant development as the matter will effectively be argued in court on an unopposed basis. This means that the court will have regard for the BOA’s submissions when deciding whether or not to overturn the City’s decisions to sell off / lease the sensitive heritage area of Maiden’s Cove.
“Litigation is always uncertain but given the fact that the City had already effectively conceded that their process was flawed, it would have been extremely difficult for the developer to defend a decision which the City itself was unable or reluctant to defend,” he said.
The matter will now be set down for hearing at the High Court on Friday November 16 when the court will decide whether to grant the relief sought by the BOA, including overturning the entire tender process relating to the Maiden’s Cove site.