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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

CBCRA Chair's Report AGM 2021

Good evening and welcome to the 2021 AGM of the CBCRA in a year which has proved to be quite wild and damaging. 

Due to current circumstances, it was decided to hold this meeting via Zoom and we trust that everyone who wanted to attend has managed to log into the meeting. The on-screen comments bar will be monitored as far as possible.

It would be appreciated if you would do your membership fee payments online. 

Tonight, as with last year, we will dispense with all but the most important business of an AGM, so I apologise for the a meeting that will be more report-back in nature but quicker in time. 

Our local ward councillor, Nicola Jowell, recently re-elected does have a prior engagement but will attempt to manage an online appearance. Nicola cannot make the meeting, a copy of her address is posted on our website <here> . Please feel free to raise any issues that are of concern to you and we will also post her replies and comments.

Nicola Jowell's report

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 23 November 2020. Proposer and seconder?




Chris Willemse, vice-chair of the CBCRA


Chair’s report (given by vice-chair, Chris Willemse):

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 telephonically, via email or on Facebook.


Parking on the beachfront: 

This initiative is still awaiting the City’s implementation. That’s exactly as reported last year but, as you might have noticed in Sea Point and CBD, curbside parking tenders have been let and are operational. As reported last year, 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 is still going through the appeal process, with many appeals still to be heard. It would appear as if many of the appeals have resulted in a lower, more realistic valuation.

It is understood from the City that the next cycle will be GV2022 (and not GV2021).

it will be interesting to see how these valuations pan out, given the reported drop in house prices along the Atlantic Seaboard. This clearly has major implications for the City administration, as if the gap between high- and low-end prices narrows, it will mean that the latter will end up with a higher rates bill – which is not politically comfortable!


Environment: 

Chris von Ulmenstein will update the meeting on her efforts and collaborations in cleaning up litter in the suburb and on the beaches. It is a responsibility that rests with all Camps Bay residents and visitors but appears to rely on the hard work of a few. Chris will also report on membership.

Here is a copy of her report summary: Report


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. The CBCRA recently commented on this problem in its response to the Draft Water & Sanitation Development Plan. It remains to be seen if the City take any notice of this.

However, the Mayco member responsible for this portfolio has been axed from the new Mayco announced by incoming mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis. Hopefully, the new incumbent will not be as obstructive as the last.

Whilst on this topic, it can be announced that the City have finally accepted that its various wastewater treatment plants are not fit for purpose. Due to this, large swathes of the City have had a moratorium placed on them in terms of major development – areas such as Table View, Milnerton, Gordon’s Bay and Somerset West. Obviously, the developers in these areas are incensed and some are planning legal action against the City and others are exploring the feasibility of installing mini-sewerage plants at their developments.

In essence, a few months ago, the City claimed that it adequate capacity for all these developments and two weeks later, claimed that there was none.

Clearly, the problem lies with the DA-administration which has been the handmaiden to the development industry, encouraging all sorts of unsustainable development – and the senior officials who were too obsequious to speak truth to power regarding this looming crisis.


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 was brought before the Western Cape High Court in early 2021 by an affected neighbour and the CBCRA to have this illegal equipment removed. Delaying tactics were employed by the cell mast operators but the application was heard in August 2021. Unfortunately, the presiding judge (Deputy Judge President Goliath) did not make a final determination and the matter has been held over until the City has considered the latest application by the owner of Marine Heights, Egbert Hering and the various cell mast operators, which includes Vodacom and Cell-C.

The CBCRA will keep all pressure on the City in this regard.


Theatre on the Bay: 

The upgrade to the Theatre on the Bay precinct has proceeded to the completion of the  piazza on the seaside of Link Street. The site will incorporate the war memorial and add a special space to the area. Our thanks to Manco member Johan van Papendorp for his tireless efforts and the support of Pieter Toerien of the Theatre on the Bay.

I would strongly urge all residents to visit the precinct and take in a show at the Theatre.


Maidens Cove development: 

It was reported at the 2020 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 recently 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 threat to the suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton from the City of Cape Town. We will also engage with the new mayor on this, although he has, via email, confirmed to the Clifton Bungalow Owners that he is in support of maintaining the heritage integrity of the area. Let’s see….


Traffic flow over Kloof Nek: 

The City finally completed the proposed traffic re-alignment at the top of Kloof Nek, essentially creating 3 lanes from the city side (one to Table Mountain, one to Camps Bay and the last to Clifton via The Glen).

We were hoping to see its efficiency in the upcoming holiday period but the Omicron variant might have other ideas…


Homeless people: 

Theresa Massaglia will update you on this most important and pressing issue.

Beachfront Social Issues and Actions: Theresa Massaglia. I would also like to thank Alan Marsh, the CPF Chair, Peter Cooksen of the City’s Social Development branch and Warrant Officer .. Fortuin of Saps, Camps Bay for all their efforts in dealing with these seemingly intractable issues.

Environment & Marketing: Chris von Ulmenstein has converted her daily walks and personal clean-up of the suburb into a CBCRA project.

You can read Theresa Massaglia's report <here>.


PLANNING

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. An extremely well-prepared appeal against this decision was placed before the Mayor and the appeal was partially upheld and partially dismissed. 

In essence the parking departure to allow 58 parking bays in lieu of over a hundred required was refused. We are currently in (very slow) discussions with the developer, who is clearly hoping that the City will remove parking requirements from the DMS. 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 late last year and all planning permission was set aside. Of course, the newly constructed building on the site has been interdicted from any further work or occupation. The objective now is to seek the demolition of certain illegal portions of the building, if the developer is not prepared to do voluntarily. The shocking conduct of certain City officials in facilitating the illegal work was highlighted to the Court and although also referred to the City, nothing came of it – as always. The CBCRA will be taking this up with the new mayor to see if he is willing to require the officials to conform to legality.

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 appealed this decision to the Mayor’s Planning Appeal Panel. 

The appeal was upheld and the MPT decision to approve the application was set aside. Again, we thank Leon van Rensburg for his strong legal appeal.

It would appear as if this developer is still not willing to meaningfully discuss the matter with the CBCRA and, no doubt, a third application will be submitted to the City. However, the CBCRA is not giving up the fight to limit the development in Camps Bay to residential homes and not allow flats.

22 Sedgemoor Rd: It would be difficult to miss the construction of the monstrous block of flats in Sedgemoor Rd. The CBCRA and  a few affected (and generous) neighbours have made an application to the Western Cape High Court to have the planning permission set aside and any further work on site ceased.

You can read the Founding Affidavit <here>.

23 Francolin Rd: The CBCRA was instrumental in bringing an application for the setting aside of the planning permission by the City for a 4-storey building at this address. The developer, probably sensing the inevitable, opted to settle by demolishing the entire top floor.

Again, we will raise the completely dubious planning permission, granted by the City officials, with the new mayor.

In general, it would appear as if the MPT regard the praedial 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.

Time will tell if the new mayor is receptive to the plight of the ratepayers of Cape Town.


ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS

Nick Taylor joined the Manco to assist with the issue of problem rental houses in Camps Bay.

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

Chris Marshall has left the Manco to join the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance. Chris will be dealing with the governance in the City within this civic grouping but remains in direct contact with the CBCRA. 

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. Any nominations from the floor?


FINANCIAL REPORT - Richard Bendel

Matters Arising

Meeting Closed at 19h30


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