DA Supports Exploitation of Sensitive Green Zones in The Western Cape

DA Behind Rezoning of Spatial Development Zones in The Western Cape

The ratepayers of City of Cape Town, need to be VERY concerned.

Currently we have a Spatial Development Framework.  This framework was developed over a number of years with participation from hundreds if not thousands of “concerned groups” of citizens.  The aim was to define a framework for the development of the City of Cape Town that would also protect certain areas, such as our mountains, our seaboard, our agriculture, and our “green” areas from exploitation by unscrupulous persons.
This framework gets renewed on a regular basis, I think it’s about 5 yearly, and any deviations from the framework currently needs the dual consent of both the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Provincial government.
The plan of the City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee is to remove the dual consent, so that only THEY (the Mayoral Committee and the Developers Forum) will have permission to approve deviations and changes.
Now this may seem fairly innocuous, however, when one looks behind the scenes, this can well turn out to be the DA’s equivalent of Nkhandla.  For instance:
1.       The Mayoral Committee approved the rezoning of a valuable track of farming (agricultural) land in Phillippi recently.  This would have meant that a huge section of our agriculture – our food supply – would have been turned over for development.  And NOT development for housing for the masses of people currently without housing, but expensive housing for wealthy people.  It took the intervention of Minister Bredell to turn this situation around, without which, this land as agricultural land and our food supply would have been lost forever.
2.       There is a tract of land against the mountain behind the Sir Lowry’s Pass village, owned by a wealthy Hollander (not even a South African), known as Casa Maris.  This man has been trying for YEARS to develop this land into a huge housing estate – NOT for the people without housing, but for super-wealthy foreigners who use our exchange rate to buy large, luxurious “summer houses” to escape the European winter.  We have hundreds of these “swallows” in the Somerset West area.  At present only the Spatial Development Plan and the dual consent is holding him back.  Because Mayco WANT this development to happen, despite objections from all sides.  The proposal of the developer is to expand the boundaries of the urban edge, defined in the Spatial Development Framework, to include some of the mountain side, including a heritage area where the tracks of the ox-wagons are still visible and the village is trying to develop this as a tourist attraction.
To put this into perspective:
a) Yes, some jobs will be created, but they will ALL be labour jobs, and they will be temporary and will cease to exist when the buildings are complete.  Thereafter there will only be domestics-type jobs available.  The project does NOTHING to uplift the skills in the area.
b) Furthermore, part of the proposal is to develop a new road that by-passes the Sir Lowry’s Pass Village.  So this proposal does NOTHING to help to develop the village as a whole.
c) We have had confirmation from some people in the village that the developer is paying the extremely poor villagers of Sir Lowry’s Pass R75 each to sign his document approving the development.  These people are signing for the R75 without understanding the long-term ramifications to their own lives and the area as a whole.
3.       There are evidently 19 other similar developments all waiting for approval, where our heritage – our mountains and our sea-boards, are being threatened by unscrupulous and greedy developers and the MayCo of the City of Cape Town.  NONE of which benefit the poor of the community.
4.       Why this is being likened to Nkhandla is the methodology being used by the DA MayCo in working with the Developers.  In order for the city to approve developments, the city requires that the Developer create the surrounding infrastructure – meaning the roads (municipal roads) that lead to the access to  the development site.  So, in order for the DA to develop an infrastructure in the City of Cape Town, they approve land for development to the Developer that has the wherewithal (deep enough pockets) to create this infrastructure.  The main beneficiaries are NOT the poor of the city, but the Developers, the wealthy people who buy into the developments (mountainside and seaboard houses are EXTREMELY expensive),  and, of course the DA itself, that looks like it’s creating an infrastructure, and, of course, the rates that they can charge on these expensive properties once developed.  This is at best duplicitous, but the reality is they are defrauding us of our heritage for their short-term goals without explaining the intent and the impact to us that would allow us to make an informed decision.
We have until the 7th April to object to the Casa Maris application to extend the Urban Edge to include that property for development purposes, and until the 8th April to object to the withdrawal of the Spatial Development Framework for the City of Cape Town.
Please can you help by contacting your DA Office and sign the online petitions!

Concerned citizen of City of Cape Town

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