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Thursday, 26 November 2020

Land use applications and planning, cell masts discussed at AGM

Land use applications and planning, cell masts and social issues on the beachfront were among the matters discussed at this year’s annual general meeting of the Camps Bay Clifton Ratepayers’ Association (CBCRA)

The meeting was held at Rotunda Hotel on Monday November 23.

Residents wanted to know why the City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal continued to approve development plans without taking the opinions of the residents into consideration. “The City is turning a blind eye to residents’ objections. What’s happening with all these developers has to stop,” said one resident.

Ward 54 councillor, Nicola Jowell said she understood the sentiments and aimed to properly represent residents’ concerns.

Touching on some of the development plans, CBCRA chairman Chris Willemse said an application for a 101-room hotel at the Place on the Bay site, to which there had been 76 individual objections, had been approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal.

He said their call to the community to help oppose this application had been well supported and they had collected more than R80 000 in donations.

“Currently, we have an extremely well-prepared appeal against this decision before the mayor and, judging by the time that the City is taking to respond and place it on the Appeal Panel’s agenda, there must be something about which it is very concerned,” he said.

He added that they were researching the history of all applications to detail what he described as “the arbitrary nature of the MPT’s actions”.

“If the City shows no interest in this undermining of our property rights, we will consider a legal challenge,” he said.

On the matter of cell masts, Mr Willemse highlighted the Marine Heights block in Upper Tree Road, noting that the ratepayers association had been making representations to the planning authorities for years now, without success. He said they’d advised affected neighbours to take the matter to court and a case has now been brought before the Western Cape High Court by an affected neighbour to have the illegal equipment removed. “The application should be heard in February 2021,” he said.

On the matter of property valuations, the meeting unanimously agreed that CBCRA partner with the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance (GCTCA) to unpack what they said appeared to be a very skewed system, that was not in favour of owners of property along the Atlantic Seaboard.

By Sinazo Mkoko

Atlantic Sun

Covid resurgence in Cape Metro - Premier Alan Winde

 Message from Premier Alan Winde: Covid resurgence in Cape Metro

‘There is an established Covid-19 resurgence in the Western Cape; urgent public response required to protect health system 

The Western Cape Government is deeply concerned about the growing number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations in the province, which can now be considered as an established resurgence.  

A resurgence is when the number of active cases increase, week-on-week, by more than 20%. Over the last week alone, the province has witnessed a 52.1% jump in new cases, with an established pattern over time. 

There is also now established community transmission of the virus again in this province, which means that it is spreading within communities at a faster rate.  

This growth is primarily driven by two districts in the Western Cape: the Garden Route and the Cape Metro.  

Last week, we issued a hotspot alert for the Garden Route, following an alarming growth of cases in the area. This surge has continued to gain momentum and there are now more active cases in George and Knysna sub-districts than at any point in the pandemic to date.  

The City of Cape Town is following a similar trajectory to this region and looks to be about 10-14 days behind. We are therefore also issuing a hotspot alert for the Metro. 

It is important to highlight that the growth in cases in the City is being recorded in every sub-district and is not being driven by any one area. This is verified by waste-water treatment testing. 

While the growth in cases province-wide has mainly been driven by these two districts, we are also worried about the Cape Winelands, which is starting to record a concerning number of new cases. 

The Overberg District, Central Karoo District and West Coast District are being closely monitored given their proximity to these hotspots.  

This established Covid-19 resurgence in the Western Cape is also reflected in the proportion of positive tests, which has now grown to 16%. This is comparable to the test positivity rate experienced in the Western Cape in early May 2020. 

My biggest concern is for our health platform, which is under growing pressure. We need to ensure that every person gets healthcare when they need it. 

Hospitalisations reached a low of under 500 in September, and they have now reached 904 as of yesterday. There are currently 431 people in public hospitals and 473 in private hospitals in the Western Cape. 

In the last 24-hour reporting period alone, the number of people being hospitalised for Covid-19 increased by a staggering 54 people.  

Our Brackengate Hospital of Hope, went from having just a few patients in September, to 109 as of today.  

In fact, since the start of November, COVID-19 hospitalisations across the province have increased by 63%. The private sector has increased by 94%, while the public sector has increased by 39%.  

Critical care admissions have increased by 75% since the start of November. This is particularly concerning as an admission to a critical care unit is an indication of severe illness that might lead to death. 

🚨We need every person in the Western Cape to help prevent a Lockdown and to ensure that there are enough empty beds in our hospitals for those who need them” 

We must be under no illusion as to how serious the situation is, and how quickly it can deteriorate further. 

The Western Cape Government has intentionally reintroduced key healthcare services to our facilities because we need to provide comprehensive care to everyone who needs it, not just those with Covid-19. 

This means our hospitals are already fuller than they were earlier this year, during the first wave of hospitalisations.  

We want to avoid at all costs having to once again de-escalate these essential services because this will have a detrimental impact on the health of our people. We have to save all lives, including those who don’t have Covid-19. 

We also cannot afford a Lockdown again, as is being witnessed in many European countries right now. Our economy simply cannot afford it. A lockdown would kill jobs and cause our humanitarian disaster to worsen. This will also cost lives in the future.  

There is therefore only one option available to us all. We have to bring the situation under control through our own actions. We have to do everything possible to ensure that we do not get infected by Covid-19 and that we do not spread Covid-19.  

The virus is not gone but will be with us over the holidays and beyond. Therefore, we need to remain safe and protect each other by: 

• Wearing a mask properly is of life-saving importance. You must wear your masks at all times when outside of your home. There can be no exceptions. 

• You must avoid crowded and confined spaces at all costs. This is where super-spreader events take place. 

• You must urgently reconsider hosting all non-essential gatherings of people this year, especially indoor gatherings with poor ventilation.   

• You must ensure there is good ventilation at all times whenever you’re in public. The virus droplets spread by air in confined spaces, and so fresher is better.  

• You must wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use sanitiser. 

• If you feel sick, you should not leave your home unless it is to get healthcare treatment. You must first call our hotline on 080 928 4102 for guidance on the next steps.  

• You should also not visit someone who is sick, and find other ways to provide support, like delivering a meal to a neighbour’s doorstep. 

Every single resident should assume that Covid-19 is everywhere they go and take all the necessary precautions at every point along their journey. 

For business owners and managers, you cannot in any way cut corners on Covid-19 safety protocols and you must abide by all the regulations. You are our best hope for policing all points of gathering, because you can ensure the behaviour needed by people when they are at your establishment. Help us keep the economy open by ensuring that your staff and customers are safe at all times. 

We all have a critical role to play over the next few weeks so that we keep our economy open and to ensure that there is a hospital bed for ourselves or our loved ones, should we need it. Let’s show the e world again that we are capable of flattening the curve in the Western Cape. 

🚨Resurgence response plan will result in increased high visibility enforcement 

The Western Cape, through our Disaster Joint Operations Centre, will be drastically increasing high visibility enforcement of Covid-19 regulations to help slow down the spread of the virus.  

The JOC, which has linkages to local joint operations centres across the province, is best placed to coordinate law enforcement. It has a direct link to the SAPS, as well as law enforcement and environmental officers in the Western Cape.  

We urge members of the public, businesses and other organisations to report violations of Covid-19 protocols immediately so that our teams can take action immediately. 

-You can report violations using the online complaint form available here:

-Dial *134*234# to report non-compliance of public transport

-For Covid-19 health related queries, the provincial Covid-19 toll-free hotline number is 080 928 4102

-For general queries, the Western Cape Government's contact centre can be reached on 0860 142 142’

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

AGM Report on Beachfront Social Issues by Theresa Massaglia

At the CBCRA AGM on Monday, 23-11-2020, Manco member Theresa Massaglia shared the origin of CwC (Community who Cares), which she started in 2018 with Alan Marsh, the Chairman of the Camps Bay Community Police Forum (CPF), a collaboration between the Camps Bay and Clifton Ratepayers Association (CBCRA), the Business Forum, SAPS, Camps Bay CSI (CBCSI), the Ward 54 Councillor Nicola Jowell, and NGOs such as Homestead and StreetSmart. It has become a model for other ratepayers’ associations to implement too.

Transformation of homeless persons is the key, rather than community handouts of money or food. Donations have been received from the community in the form of shoes, clothing, blankets etc. R400000 has been received in donations, covering costs of masks, sanitiser, and to support feeding schemes. A Women’s Month programme was initiated for homeless women in Safe Space. A team building workshop was run for female SAPS and Law Enforcement staff. A Victim Support unit has been set up at SAPS. Stipends have been received from the City of Cape Town to fund the new Camps Bay CSI Community Stewards, for which the Business Forum will fund the Transport, and the Codfather will pay for the provision of uniforms and the laundering thereof.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

AGM Report by Ward 54 Councillor Nicola Jowell

At the Camps Bay and Clifton Ratepayers Association AGM held at the Rotunda last night, (Monday, 23 November 2020), Councillor Jowell thanked the community of Camps Bay and Clifton, demonstrating that as a collective it can make changes which have a resounding effect. She thanked our residents for protecting themselves and their families by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, by washing their hands, and for being Covid-19 cautious. 

She said that service delivery by the City of Cape Town has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, a compliance-orientated framework and unionised staff, and she thanked residents who have waited patiently. Despite these obstacles, she is seeing departments trying to get on top of backlogs. She highlighted shortcomings, i.e. Kloof Road, affected by the fire earlier this year and the heavy winter rain; the Parks Department still dealing with trees which came down in the winter storms, which has affected lawn mowing and park maintenance; the sub-station on Kloof Road is on the list for fire drainage and gutter problem repair; fence railings at Bali Bay, Clifton, and the Glen Country Club will be repaired in the next few weeks; and infrastructure work is being done by the Water Department, previously on Hely Hutchinson and currently on Geneva Drive, affecting traffic coming down the street, and expected to continue until February. Councillor Jowell encouraged residents to use the City’s C3 Fault reporting system to report any issues, and to alert her with a reference number should the faults not be dealt with timeously. 

The Solid Waste Department has developed a Summer Plan, which includes additional street cleaners, working in three daily shifts, including a late night one. She expressed disappointment at the state of the beaches on busy days. She thanked Chris von Ulmenstein for picking up litter herself, with a paid helper, and with organised monthly community clean-ups. 

She saluted the Camps Bay CSI Community Stewards initiative, set to enhance the visitor experience on Victoria Road. 

Councillor Jowell was thanked for the hard work which she and her office does for Camps Bay.

AGM 2020 Chair's report

Good evening and welcome to the 2020 AGM of the CBCRA in a year which has proved to be quite wild and damaging. 

As always, thanks to Maree Brink, Johannes Lategan and The Bay Hotel for the generous use of the facilities and especially to Bianca Verster and her team for putting the show together tonight. A special thanks to Alma Horn for arranging and managing the audio-visual side of the evening.

Tonight there will not be a table for the payment of subs due to the potential threat of the virus. It would be appreciated if you do your payments online. 

Tonight, we will dispense with all but the most important business of an AGM, so I apologise for the prospect of a rather stark meeting but a quicker meeting and opportunity to get home in time for supper is a good alternative.

We welcome our local ward councillor, Nicola Jowell. She will give a report-back tonight after which you, the ratepayers of Camps Bay, will have an opportunity to address her on issues that are of concern to you.

Firstly, may I please have any apologies for tonight’s meeting.

Apologies which have already been received will be posted with the minutes of this meeting

Also, we need to confirm the minutes of the previous AGM, held on the 9th September 2019. Proposer and seconder?

Councillor’s report: Nicola Jowell 

Chair’s report:

As mentioned, I will only give the bullet points and encourage you to follow developments on the website. Also, Manco members will gladly discuss any matter more fully after the meeting.

Parking on the beachfront: This initiative, which was supported at our last meeting is still being held up by City bureaucracy. However, it would appear as if the public participation phase should be starting soon. It will only include beachfront parking. That’s exactly as reported last year, so one can gauge the speed and efficiency of the City. However, the various groupings in Camps Bay such as the CBCSI, Neighbourhood Watch and others have initiated their own plan and this has resulted in the Blue Team of car guards on the beachfront. CBCRA’s Theresa Massaglia, who dedicates so much time and effort to positively assisting the homeless on the beachfront will address you shortly on this matter.

Valuations: The GV2018 property valuation cycle by the City has, again, thrown up many problems. The CBCRA wants to partner with the Greater Cape Town Civic alliance (GCTCA) to unpack what appears to be a very skewed system, which is certainly not in the favour of owners of property along the Atlantic Seaboard. As we will be dealing with other organisations, it is important that we have a mandate from our members to pursue this matter and a show of hands in support will be necessary. 

Plastics: Bianca Krafft has done sterling work as the Manco member dealing with this dangerous and contaminating pollutant. Unfortunately, due to study commitments, she has decided to step down from the Manco, hopefully only until she completes her studies. Bianca’s efforts and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.

Marine Outfall Plant: The CBCRA continues to oppose the City regarding the millions of litres of raw sewerage that it pumps into the bay at Camps Bay on a daily basis. As reported previously, the City continues to deny any damage to the environment and is satisfied that the system of dumping pollutants into the sea is sustainable despite the contrary opinion and established facts by all academics in this field. The CBCRA hopes to have other groupings on board in opposing the destruction of the natural environment by the City, which not only includes the Camps Bay MOP but also that of Mouille Point and Hout Bay and the wetlands and lagoon in Milnerton at Flamingo Vlei.

Cell masts: As previously reported, the City planners have allowed almost unrestricted installation of microwave equipment in Camps Bay. Probably the worst case is the Marine Heights block in Upper Tree Rd. The CBCRA has been making representations to the planning authorities for years now, without success. The CBCRA advised affected neighbours to take this matter to the High Court, which is the only institution that can force the City to properly govern, and a case has now been brought before the Western Cape High Court by an affected neighbour to have this illegal equipment removed. Delaying tactics have been in operation but the application should be heard in February 2021. In the meantime, Telkom has removed its antennae and units – but Cell-C and Vodacom continue to contest the matter.

Constitution: An issue has been raised regarding the effective tenure of the chair and vice-chair of the Manco and, by extension, the CBCRA. The Constitution purportedly restricts the period to 3 years but as there have been no volunteers for the positions, Richard Bendel and I have continued to fill the posts. It is also our legal advice that the exact meaning of this clause is not precise and that, in any event, nothing turns on the continued voluntary filling of these positions. The Manco will take further legal advice on this matter and ensure that our governance remains true to the constitution of the Association. Clearly, there is no malfeasance in the CBCRA’s actions and the situation has arisen due to a lack of volunteers rather than any desire to continue holding a position by either Richard or myself. Of course, all could be resolved by any person, duly elected, volunteering for the positions!

Theatre on the Bay: Manco’s Johan van Papendorp has been relentless in dealing with the City in this project by the Theatre on the Bay to upgrade the precinct and provide additional parking. To date, the old electrical substation in Link St has been demolished and a new substation built next to the police station. Work to the proposed piazza on the seaside of Link Street is underway. The site will incorporate the war memorial and add a special space to the area. Our thanks to Johan for his tireless efforts and the support of Pieter Toerien of the Theatre on the Bay.

Maidens Cove development: It was reported at the last meeting that although the City claimed that it had “listened to the people of Cape Town” and abandoned its proposed development of Maidens Cove, Mayor Dan Plato had confirmed to the CBCRA that it was on the cards again. Basically, too much money around the development for the DA-led City to ignore! As previously stated, the CBCRA, along with the CBOA and the Maidens Cove for All group, will keep a close eye on this proposal and will remain prepared to counter any land-grab threat to the suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton from the City of Cape Town.

Beachfront Social Issues and Actions:

Theresa Massaglia. I would also like to thank Alan Marsh, the CPF Chair and Peter Cooksen of the City’s Social Development branch for all their efforts in dealing with these seemingly intractable issues.


I’ve highlighted a few current items but more information can be found on the website – or by contacting me directly.

Hotel on the beachfront: The application for a 101-room hotel on the Place on the Bay site, which received 76 individual objections, was approved by the Municipal Planning tribunal. The CBCRA call to the community to assist in opposing this application received tremendous support and over R80k in donations. Currently, we have an extremely well-prepared appeal against this decision before the Mayor and, judging by the time that the City is taking to respond and place it on the Appeal Panel’s agenda, there must be something about which it is very concerned. Our thanks to attorney Leon van Rensburg for his expertise in this matter.

5 The Meadway: This matter was heard in the Western Cape High Court today. Currently, the newly constructed building on the site has been interdicted from any further work or occupation. The application is to set aside the planning permission from the City and seek the demolition of certain illegal portions of the building. The conduct of certain City officials in facilitating the illegal work is also being highlighted to the Court.

96 Camps Bay Drive: This matter is also a longstanding issue. A couple of years back, the CBCRA successfully applied to the High Court for an order setting aside the City-approved plans. The developer re-submitted plans to which the CBCRA and neighbours objected. As always, the MPT simply approved the new application and the CBCRA has appealed this decision to the Mayor’s Appeal Panel. Again, the slowness of the City in getting this onto an agenda is telling, and we thank Leon van Rensburg for his strong legal appeal.

In general, it would appear as if the MPT regard the praedial restrictive rights in our title deeds as mere annoyances and remove them at will. The CBCRA is researching the history of all applications to detail the arbitrary nature of the MPT’s actions. If the City shows no interest in this undermining of our property rights, we will consider a legal challenge.

Election of Office Bearers:

As mentioned, Bianca Krafft has resigned from the Manco and we wish her well with her studies next year and our thanks go to her for her efforts over the past years.

Helet Merkling, who dealt with Clifton matters has also stepped down due to her commitments to the proposed Clifton SRA. Helet’s willingness to engage in all civic matters and her specialised legal knowledge have been a great asset to the CBCRA.

Brenda Herbert has resigned from the Manco after many years of dedicated service for which we are all grateful.

Byron Herbert has resigned from the Manco and the CBCRA. 

All other members currently serving on your Manco have agreed to remain for the following year.

On the positive side, the CBCRA Manco has welcomed two new members to its ranks: 

Chris von Ulmenstein, who will be spearheading our journey into an effective social media presence, which will give the ratepayers of Camps Bay a constant update of happenings in the area and allow for proper interaction. Chris is probably well known to many of you and has, for the past while, been busy with the general state of the lower reaches of Camps Bay – from personally cleaning streams and problem areas to working closely with Cllr Jowell.

Chris Marshall also joins the Manco. Chris will be dealing with the governance in the City along with other civic groupings who are addressing the many issues regarding the administration of the City. 

I wish to express my personal gratitude to all these hard-working and selfless individuals who freely give of their time to protect the uniqueness of our beautiful village and suburb. I’m sure that all present here tonight will join me in thanking the Manco.

As always, new members are welcome and there is a great variety of tasks to tackle. 

Thank you

Chris Willemse

Camps Bay & Clifton Ratepayers’ Association Chair

Friday, 6 November 2020

CBCRA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Monday 23 November 2020 @ 18h30

 As 2020 comes to an end, we invite you to attend the

Monday 23 November 2020 @ 18h30
at The Rotunda (Bay Hotel)

It is your opportunity to find out more about what the CBCRA does while being the voice for matters that affect the Camps Bay and Clifton community.
There will be an opportunity to join the Manco as well, but you are under no obligation if you just want to find out more.
The meeting will also be broadcast via ZOOM.
ZOOM login details will be sent closer to the date.
The Meeting Agenda will be communicated via email before the meeting.


Refreshment drinks will be served from 18h15.
Social distancing will be adhered to and we require everyone to wear a mask.