Dr Lesley Shackleton of The Far South Peninsula Community Forum writes:
The Far South Peninsula Community Forum has been very active in raising concerns with the City about inappropriate and rampant development, its impact on traffic and other over-capacity infrastructure and on the Far South’s cultural and environmental heritage.
I attach two short documents to update you on this.
(1) The minutes of the meeting with the Mayor held on 27 May, where she and her senior officials responded to issues raised by the FSPCF earlier in the month.
(2) “Keeping Promises for Future Generations” – how we plan to ensure that the promises made at this meeting are kept.
We would very much appreciate your assistance in circulating the Promises request and in helping us raise awareness and funds amongst our community.
MEETING WITH MAYOR DE LILLE – RESPONSE TO ISSUES RAISED ON 6 MAY 2013
Sub Council Council Chamber, Fish Hoek
27 May 2013, 19h30
Mayor Patricia de Lille
Achmat Ebrahim, City Manager
Brett Herron, MAYCO Transport, Roads, and Tourism
Gareth Bloor, MAYCO Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning
J P Smith, MAYCO Safety and Security
Chris Gordon, City Law Enforcement
Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, City Disaster Management
Riaan Spreeth, City Law Enforcement
Gavin Greeve, City Law Enforcement
Andre Liebenberg, City of Cape Town
Elgan Fortune, City Community Facilitator
Brendhan Kannemeyer, Steenberg Office Park
Jennifer Paterson, Silvertree Estate
Tristan Melland, Observer
Patrick Lowe, Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association
Theo Verrijdt, Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association
Bruce Campbell-Smith, Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association
Patrick Dowling, Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association
Nicki Holderness, Far South Peninsula Community Forum
Lesley Shackleton, Simon’s Town Civic Association, Simon’s Town Business Association
Matthew Gray, Far South Peninsula Community Forum
Ald. Felicity Purchase, Sub Council 19
Cllr Simon Liell-Cock, Sub Council 19
Cllr David Dalton, Sub Council 19
Cllr Pat Francke, Sub Council 19
- The meeting commenced at 19h30 with a welcome from Ald Purchase who handed the chair to the Mayor.
- The Mayor introduced the MAYCO Members, the City Manager and other officials from the City.
- She first addressed the main issue that had been raised at the meeting on 6 May, namely the City’s lack of response to concerns raised by Far South civic organisations over the past years. Correspondence over the past 10 years had been examined and she believed that the concerns were justified. On behalf of the City, she apologised for this. The purpose of this meeting was to remedy the situation and ensure that it did not recur in the future.FUTURE COMMUNICATION
- 4. It was agreed that in future issues raised should go through the Sub Council Chairperson to the City Manager, with copies to the relevant MAYCO members. The Sub Council Manager would play a role in ensuring that this route was followed. The City Manager would ensure that the issues raised are responded to within a reasonable time. CITY MANAGER, SUB COUNCIL MANAGER, SUB COUNCIL CHAIRPERSON.
- 5. Mr Dowling acknowledged the apology from the Mayor and City Manager. Mr Campbell Smith also raised the issue of lack of response from the City Ombudsman. It is important that the public are able to have confidence in the City Ombudsman’s office which is required by law to mediate between the public and City officials.ISSUES RAISED
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): Cllr Bloor agreed that a SEA must be undertaken in the Far South to provide the necessary input to all planning and zoning legislation. He said that this would commence immediately, to be finished within 6 months. BLOOR
- Moratorium on Development until a SEA has been completed and integrated into planning: Cllr Bloor said that this was difficult to do as there were processes to be followed. He said that there would be at least 2 public participation processes (as required by National Guidelines) as part of developing the holistic planning process, and that he would participate in at least one of these. Cllr Bloor said that the appropriate way to go forward on this would be to develop an overlay zone for the Far South. BLOOR
In response to a request for clarification, Cllr Bloor said that the City could not undertake to place a moratorium on development in the South whilst the SEA was being undertaken. The Mayor emphasised that each development had to be considered on its merit, taking into account the availability of the bulk infrastructure. Most areas in the City were currently at capacity with issues such as solid waste. She emphasised that SPELLUM had to consider each application on its merit. She closed the discussion by saying: “Rest assured, we cannot approve any major developments in the South”.
- Overlay Zone to limit development: Cllr Bloor said that a Far South Overlay could provide guidance on the density of development allowed in the area. Dr Shackleton questioned the process for acquiring an overlay as the Far South had been requesting overlays for years and had never received any useful response from the City. Cllr Bloor promised that information on exactly how to proceed to develop an overlay zone would be made available by the end of the week by Michelle Walker. BLOOR, MICHELLE WALKER
- Disaster Management Plan for Far South: Cllr J P Smith said that the City did not have specific disaster management plans for specific areas, rather it planned for types of disaster, such as fires, or flooding. Ald Holderness repeated the concerns in the Far South which effectively only has 3 access roads: Chapmans Peak Drive, Main Road and Ou Kaapse Weg. She detailed a number of occasions in the past few years when all have been blocked (accidents, rockfalls, fires, etc), isolating the Far South from emergency services which are located to the north. She reiterated that a reaction plan with acceptable response times is needed for the Far South. Cllr Smith said that his department cannot develop a specific plan for the area, but suggested that the Sub Council organise a workshop on the issue. SUB COUNCIL MANAGER, HOLDERNESS
- Traffic Management (law enforcement): Cllr Smith requested that civil society channel their concerns on Traffic Law Enforcement through the Community Police Forums (CPFs). Numerous complaints were received from the South, however there was insufficient funding to employ the manpower needed to adequately address these. Cllr Smith was hoping that the future system of Traffic Reservists would assist. He also highlighted the problems in the overloaded courts and with the ineffective prosecution system, so that even if illegal activities were captured on camera, prosecutions seldom succeeded. The shortage of funds and manpower resulted in reactive policing rather than preventative, hot spot policing.
- Mr Kannemeyer asked why there was no visible policing on Ou Kaapse Weg, and why none of the suggestions to create overtaking lanes or limit load capacity had been followed up. Chief Inspector Gordon said that there were patrols of Ou Kaapse Weg but that these seemed not to be visible. He promised to position stationary vehicles which are more visible. He also said that Traffic Officials regularly presented information to the Sub Council. He was asked if his department could provide more specific statistics than were currently being presented. Cllr Smith said that tracking devices were being fitted to Metro Police vehicles which would provide more detailed statistics, particularly those pertaining to Ou Kaapse Weg. CHIEF INSPECTOR GORDON
- Cllr Smith said that issues concerning overtaking lanes and traffic management devices should be directed at the Traffic Engineers who should be approached through Cllr Herron.
- Holistic Traffic Management Plan for Far South: Cllr Herron mentioned the City’s planned Integrated Transport Plan to improve public transport, and the projects to improve road design and pedestrian and cycle facilities. However there was no funding currently available for improvements in the Far South such as dualing Kommetjie Road and parts of Ou Kaapse Weg, or improving public transport – an amount of R106million would be required in this area alone. He was currently working on schemes to raise funds (such as selling of unused road reserves) but this would take time.
- The Far South Civics pointed out that what the City was listing as priorities were not necessarily those of the local population. There were also disjunctures resulting from poor communication between City Departments (eg law enforcement and the engineers responsible for road design). Cllr Herron supported the suggestion that a Workshop be held, bringing together experts from civil society in the South and those in the various City departments with responsibilities for traffic management and road safety. HOLDERNESS, KANNEMEYER, HERRON
- Mr Campbell-Smith raised the issue of the long-awaited response to concerns raised on the 2006 Kommetjie Bulk Infrastructure Study. He provided copies of all the relevant correspondence to the City manage for response. CITY MANAGER
- Ald Purchase thanked the City for the commitments they had made, and emphasised the need for the City to talk with locals in all their planning.
- The Mayor pointed out that Cape Town was the second fastest growing city in South Africa and urbanisation was a reality that had to be dealt with. Currently Cape Town was not getting its proper share of the National Budget. She emphasised the importance of working with the community, and asked that we all now move forward to work together on these complex issues.
- The meeting closed at 20h45
KEEPING PROMISES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
We live in one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world. With this privilege comes a responsibility. This is why the civic organisations in the Far South have been demanding action from the City of Cape Town.
At last the City of Cape Town has heard our concerns. The Mayor has made promises. Ways will be explored to reduce the traffic congestion and improve public transport within and into our beautiful area. A Strategic Environmental Assessment will be done to underpin planning legislation so that we do not have rampant, profit-driven development. The City will work with us on a Disaster Management Plan.
These are words. The Far South wants to ensure that they become actions.
Beyond cultural and scenic beauty, the South Peninsula’s environmental and cultural heritage and spectacular landscapes are key economic drivers, bringing in over R1 billion a year in tourism and recreational revenue. Our environment provides jobs, and opportunities for South Africans from across the country to celebrate their heritage. Over-development, inappropriate development, traffic congestion, pollution and greed have destroyed beautiful areas in other parts of the world. We must not allow this to happen in our area.
The Far South Peninsula Community Forum needs your support. We want to work with the City to ensure that the promises that have been made are rapidly and properly fulfilled. Funds are needed for this as we would like to contract local experts to liaise with the City over the next 6 months. This will ensure that our voice continues to be heard.
We need to raise R100 000 within the next month. Think of your environment, of this magnificent asset you enjoy on a daily basis, of your grandchildren, of your responsibility. Make as generous a donation as you can to the Far South Peninsula Community Forum (see banking details below). All funds will be audited and fully accounted for. Funding will be exclusively spent on this project: “Keeping Promises for Future Generations”.
Far South Peninsula Community Forum (FSPCF), A/c number: 374216428, Standard Bank Fish Hoek
Bank code 036009 for deposits ; Bank code 051001 for electronic payments
Please identify your payment with “PROMIS [your name]”