Welcome to the CRRA ~
Conserving Constantia’s rural and cultural landscape for all.
Promoting and safeguarding the interests of ratepayers and residents.
Things happening in the Valley!
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
30 JULY 2020
SPEECH BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, ALDERMAN DAN PLATO
Residents and councillors must work together to make things better
Colleagues, councillors, members of the public, the media, speaker, before we start today, I would like to send my condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of Mr Zwakala, a law enforcement officer who was killed while off duty earlier this week. I also wanted to extend my condolences to all the families, friends and loved ones of all those who have passed away from the Coronavirus over recent weeks.
Speaker, I think we can all agree that July has been a tough month. The country is starting to really feel the impact of the national lockdown now, and here in Cape Town we have been under siege with illegal land invasions that have left both public infrastructure and private businesses in ruin in parts of the City. We thank our frontline staff, some of whom are putting their bodies on the line for residents. We pray especially for our staff who are in hospital with serious injuries.
Speaker, while it was essential to give our health systems those crucial first weeks to prepare for the wave of Covid-19 infections that would have otherwise overrun our hospitals and caused many more deaths, the economic devastation that has been brought about by the extended national lockdown is going to have a much bigger impact for months, and probably years to come.
National government can no longer ignore the legitimate concerns of industries which are able to open safely but remain mostly locked down and restricted. Government must listen to the calls of the hospitality, tourism, wine and other major sectors. Any business that can open safely should be allowed to do so.
In Cape Town and the Western Cape, we are working hard to maintain South Africa’s lowest unemployment rate, and to support local economic recovery. Earlier this week I handed out thousands of support kits, which included cloth face masks, hand sanitiser and important safety information, to informal traders so they can continue to trade safely. This follows another several thousand kits handed out to SMMEs over recent weeks.
Today we take another step forward in securing Cape Town as a Greentech capital with the proposal to transfer property valued of R56 million to the Western Cape Government for the continued development of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ). By taking this step, thousands of job opportunities will be unlocked and billions will be added to the regional economy over the next 15 years.
In the short term, let us remember that by working together, we can mitigate the damage of the national lockdown. Councillors have a vital role to play in being the link between your communities and this administration. You need to know what is required in your communities, what your residents are saying, and make sure that we deliver.
I have also noted with concern the serious allegations of corruption taking place elsewhere in the country regarding procurement for COVID-19 relief, including personal protective equipment, transport equipment and others. It is disappointing that a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic is abused for personal gain and funds intended to help those most in need cannot be accounted for.
The residents of Cape Town can rest assured that every cent spent in this administration can be accounted for, as the Auditor General confirms with our clean and unqualified audits.
Under the DA, we are the only metro administration in the country that has received consecutive unqualified audit findings since we were elected to govern in 2006 – something that our residents can be proud of.
This is a difficult fact for the ANC caucus to swallow, because they can’t point to a record like that in any ANC-governed metro. To make things worse for the ANC, the City’s most recent audit had no material irregular findings, so the ANC try and go back further. But they are disappointed speaker, because the AG’s findings from previous financial years are of a technical nature, and every single cent of City funds was spent on services and value for the public.
Before the DA were given the mandate by the people of Cape Town to run this city, the ANC almost ran the city into the ground with fraud, tender rigging and rampant corruption.
It was only after the DA took the reins from the ANC in 2006 that we were able to avoid ‘a financial meltdown,’ as it was reported back then, and set the administration on a road that would see us receiving clean audits and numerous awards for the best services in the country.
That’s not to say that we don’t still have work to do. We can always do better, and that is what we strive to do. Councillors represent their communities at various committee meetings, sub council engagements, budget meetings, ratepayers’ AGMs and public gatherings. The public need to know who their councillors are and work with them to make sure their communities gets the service that they expect.
We will achieve so much more if we all work together, so be mindful of those who mischievously spread misinformation.
Speaker, on today’s council agenda is a proposal to make land in Khayelitsha available for the building of a private hospital. We are pleased to be driving progress using these properties for the community of Khayelitsha.
The City is constantly planning for the future. This is why we are seriously concerned about the R162 million water pipeline to Khayelitsha which is being derailed by land invasions. This pipeline will strengthen water pressure and supply for future housing projects.
Residents cannot afford to have this project fail, and they should be assured that it is of high priority to the City as well.
While we have yet to calculate the full costs of the current spate of land invasions, we have already seen a R50 million housing project in Makhaza lost to land invaders this past weekend, and we have determined that attempts to invade land and illegally occupy City projects are threatening housing and human settlements projects to the value of R1,3 billion.
This is not even factoring in the MyCiTi buses, stations, play park equipment, COVID-19 facilities, community halls, dial-a-ride vehicle, fire truck, and other city infrastructure that has been damaged, torched and destroyed.
One thing is clear though - we simply cannot afford to keep rebuilding that which is destroyed. Our budget is committed to projects and programmes and we cannot just cancel these plans to replace infrastructure that thugs and rioters destroy. I feel for these communities and I want to call on them to report those who are causing this havoc. You don’t need to tell us your name, just give us the information.
I also want to call on those who have invaded land and said that they were evicted by their landlords – this is not allowed during the lockdown and you need to return to your former place of residence. If your landlord refuses access you must report them to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
I am glad that the National Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, in our meeting earlier this week, agreed that land invasions cannot be allowed and that municipalities have a duty to protect their land. Minister Sisulu also agreed to speak to her colleague, Bheki Cele, the National Minister of Police, about supporting our anti-land invasion operations and providing increased policing support in Cape Town.
Speaker, I am very concerned at the ongoing double speak of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), who have asked the courts to prevent us from carrying out anti-land invasion operations.
On the one hand, regional commissioner Chris Nissen claims to condemn land invasions. But yet the SAHRC is in court asking for the common law right to protect property to be declared unlawful.
The SAHRC is asking the High Court for an interdict preventing landowners from removing empty, unoccupied structures as a means of protecting property from invasion.
The commission also seeks the voiding of all existing court orders permitting the City to protect specific sites from illegal invasion.
This will set a dangerous precedent and goes far beyond what the Constitution allows.
I note the SAPS state in their court papers that the SAHRC’s application is “misguided, fundamentally flawed, and constitutes an abuse of this court’s processes”.
Based on recent conduct, it is clear that the SAHRC in the Western Cape is playing politics at the expense of their reputation. Instead of abusing the mandate of a Chapter 9 institution, the Western Cape branch should rather register with the IEC for next year’s local elections.
Chapter 9 institutions have been given important responsibilities in South Africa and I urge the SAHRC to consider the negative impact of their application on Cape Town and South Africa as a whole.
Land invasions derail housing and service projects, lead to the pollution of waterways, severely prejudice deserving housing beneficiaries, and cause property owners to lose their investments over night. If the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), who are supporting the SARHC in the court matter, were serious about protecting people’s rights, they would be looking to prevent illegal land invasions, which take away the rights of law abiding citizens.
Speaker, it would seem that the rights of people impacted by illegal land invasion have been forgotten by the Human Rights Commission and the LRC, and one must start asking whether the funders of the LRC are in support of their fight against law abiding residents.
I have seen how having played dirty politics for several months now, and using bully tactics, the LRC now want to play victim all of a sudden.
Speaker, it is clear that many thousands of residents are silently bearing the severe impact of land invasions due to the unlawful actions of a relatively small group of people who occupy land illegally.
My message to the overwhelming majority of law-abiding residents is this: Rest assured that the City will keep standing up for you.
Residents can be proud of what Cape Town has achieved in preparing for the peak of the coronavirus as One City Together.
I am grateful to all the City staff, the service providers, and our partners in provincial government, who have worked day and night to ready health facilities, ensure that testing facilities are easily accessible, distribute thousands of support packs for small businesses to re-open safely, provide food aid to thousands of residents in need, and adapt the way we work so that we can continue to deliver services. We achieved all this with the support of our residents who are doing their part to stay safe too.
We now need national government to start removing the restrictive national regulations and allow economies to properly open up again. The limitations still in place are clearly doing more harm than good. I hear from our councillors every day about the hardships faced by local businesses in their communities, and the struggles they face as they are prevented from trading safely.
Lastly, I hope that everyone has by now seen that the iconic Adderley Street fountain is flowing once again. During Cape Town’s worst drought in recent history, the fountain was temporarily switched off. Let its restoration be a small symbol of hope and renewal for us in these times. Thanks must go to Councillor Dave Bryant and a number of city officials for their efforts. Progress is possible, and we can overcome the hardships we face as One City Together.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Greg Wagner, Spokesperson to the Executive Mayor, Tel: 021 400 9459, Cell: 072 623 4499, Email: Greg.firstname.lastname@example.org (please always copy email@example.com) ... See MoreSee Less
The Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association will greatly miss the dedication, enthusiasm, knowledge and hard work as well as the cheerful disposition of Chris Rousseau who passed away recently after more than a year of illness so bravely borne.
Chris was a professional structural engineer who found the time to serve the Constantia community whilst also running his own consulting practice. He was vice-chair of the CRRA Executive Committee which he served on for 10 years including as Land Use chairman for 7 years. In 2019 he was recognized by the City for his contribution to the community when he was honoured with a Community Service Award.
Chris had a passion for the history of Constantia particularly that of the many previously dispossessed families. For example, through a series of interviews with former and current residents, he compiled a detailed map of where families lived in the Strawberry Lane area (including anecdotes of certain characters) before forced removals and development.
He led the CRRA team on the development of a Local Area Spatial Development Framework for Constantia which is still a ‘work in progress’ and until recently provided invaluable input despite his ailing health.
He loved walking up the mountain with his two dogs, early enough to see the sunrise over the mountains of the Helderberg.
He will be sorely missed. ... See MoreSee Less
Condolences to Lindy and family on the loss of a wonderful and gentle man. X
He will be, heartsore beyond words
1 month ago
Refuse collection in Constantia is DELAYED.
Please leave your bin out until it is serviced (I.e. the truck arrives before 9pm) ... See MoreSee Less
If I leave my bin outside my gate, I have to go put all my rubbish back in as the bergies toss it all out.
Is this the same for tomorrow (Friday)?
What is on top of these bins - some security lock???
Photos from Constantia Watch's post ... See MoreSee Less
Awesome work by the police. Thank you
Awesome Work sadly with high unemployment we are going to see a spike in crime. Still concerned about the informal shacks on the land near the emporium...
Photos from Constantia Watch's post ... See MoreSee Less
So how do you get the squatters off the land? This is a problem waiting to happen and it could grow to more and more shelters being built.....
Yes I have been concerned about the squatters on that land for some time and there seems to be more
John Hesom What can one do about these squatters behind Constantia Emporium?
The CRRA and Constantia Watch will liaise with the owners and Law Enforcement. 👍
I can't seem to find this ERF at the Deed's Office. All I can see is that it is 53 Ladies Mile Road, and that the ERF 'should' be ERF 4724-Reminder. Nothing further, and no owner listed. There are more and more squatters being set up there.
www.constantiabergbulletin.co.za/news/garage-for-restitution-site-42643614 - Just found a news article, apparently the owners are the Kherekar Family Trust
ALEC PIENAAR 14 April 1938 – 4 May 2020
The Constantia Ratepayers and Resident Association (“CRRA”) acknowledges the great contribution to the community of Alec Pienaar who passed away last week at the age of 82. Alec served as Chairman of the CRRA from 2003- 2010 and again from 2014-17 and continued as member of CRRA’ EXCO until his fatal heart-attack on Monday 4 May. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Ward 62 branch of the Democratic Alliance and served on its committee for many years.
Alec was born in Graaff Reinet and grew up on a sheep farm in the remotest area of the Karoo. Matriculating with distinction at Union High School in 1954, he entered UCT at the age of 16 and qualified in 1959 with a BA.LLB degree. He read for a Master’s degree in International Law at the London School of Economics and also for the English Bar at Grays Inn.
He met and married his English wife Sara in London and they moved to Johannesburg at the end of 1964. After a couple of years working for Nedbank, Alec joined and became of a partner at Bowman Gilfillan. Later in his career, he was Group Legal Adviser and Senior Manager at Standard Bank.
Passionate about justice for all in South Africa, Alec and some fellow UCT students staged a torch-lit vigil outside Parliament in 1959 in protest against the so-called Extension of University Education Act, which effectively banned black people from all “white” universities. At the start of his 40 years in Johannesburg, he joined the Progressive Party and worked for Helen Suzman. He held many posts in Party structures and was a doughty fighter at general and local elections. He was a founder member of the DP, now the DA and wholeheartedly welcomed the dawn of a new and democratic South Africa in 1994.
He retired in 2003 and moved to Constantia where he immediately got involved in community affairs. Alec loved indigenous flora, especially the Western Cape fynbos. He built a beautiful holiday home in Betty’s Bay, where he was probably at his happiest. He adored classical music and was a regular at the City Hall symphony concerts and at the Baxter Concert Hall. Good wine, especially a fine Constantia red, was another great enthusiasm.
He was much loved for his generosity, warmth, kindness, hospitality, humour and optimism, even in South Africa’s darkest times He leaves behind his wife Sara and three children, Claudia, Kate and Julian, as well as eight grandchildren who were the light of his later life. ... See MoreSee Less
Sounds like a wonderful person.
Rip dear Alec
🚨 | MUST WATCH
DA Leader John Steenhuisen will make an announcement of national importance regarding the lockdown and the re-opening of the economy
Live-stream his address at 2pm today, Friday 8 May.
Please share this message far and wide for awareness. ... See MoreSee Less
Greenbelt pathways in Constantia during stage 4 Lockdown
The Constantia greenbelts are officially open to the public again thanks to a challenge by the CRRA regarding conflicting statements from Mayor Dan Plato and local Ward Councillor.
In a media statement on 30th April, the Mayor stated that various specific walkways/promenades were opened including ‘all other publicly accessible boardwalks or pathways’. The latter would presumably include pathways through the greenbelts.
On 1st May Cllr Liz Brunette sent out an email stating that: “Unfortunately we are not allowed to use the public parks, public open spaces, greenbelts and recreational facilities during Alert Level 4.
The National Government’s Covid-19 Regulations specify that residents may not use the City’s public parks and recreational facilities to walk, run or cycle. Please note that ‘public parks’ include public open spaces and greenbelts used by the public.”
This was obviously in conflict with the Mayor’s statement.
The CRRA wrote to Cllr Brunette and Mayco member for Transport, Ald. Felicity Purchase seeking clarity.
The City obtained legal opinion which supported the opening of the greenbelts and public walkways, lanes etc. ... See MoreSee Less
You may walk on the grass, just keep off the sea sand. 🙄
Is this only ruling only for constantia or all greenbelts ?
This appears to be contrary to the advisory issued by SAPS, which denied access to and put tape across access to the Tokai/Keysers River Greenbelt.
The state president is speaking to us tonight. Let,s hope
Go Constantia!! Well done, lovely to see you standing up for your rights and fairness!! 🙂 🙂
I wasn't even aware there was an issue. They were packed 2 days ago.
Well done all! Fantastic news. 👍👍⭐️
Is this fake news? Have the police been informed?
Presuming the path around the forest is off limits?
Does this mean that we can walk on the fields at Virgin Active? Steven Horwitz constantia ratepayers
Carolynne Franklin ???
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