Ward 53 Councillor's Report: Article Archive 2009

City acting against illegal businesses in residential areas

Anyone thinking of starting a business from home should first check with the City of Cape Town to find out whether the zoning scheme regulations for their area allows this activity.
The City’s Planning and Building Development Management (PBDM) Department is responsible for enforcing compliance with the zoning scheme regulations created in terms of the Land Use Planning Ordinance no 15 of 1985. These regulations define what properties can be used for. The Enforcement Section’s staff are guided by a Land Use Enforcement Policy which was adopted by the Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee (PEPCO) and came into force on 01 January 2009. Since the enforcement policy was implemented eight months ago. In excess of 500 cease unauthorised business notices have been served, 286 unauthorised businesses have closed down and in 32 court cases, 29 guilty verdicts have been handed down and fines imposed.

The process is complaints-driven and once a written complaint is received, it will be investigated and if necessary, a notice will be served. Transgressors are given deadlines and if they fail to close down in time, the matter is prosecuted in the criminal courts. If the prosecution is successful, the Land Use Planning Ordinance allows the Magistrate to impose a fine of up to R100 000.00 or a term of imprisonment. It should be noted that a prosecution will be instituted even if a person has, subsequent to the notice, submitted a land use application to rectify the unlawful land use. Anyone thinking of starting a business from home should therefore first contact the PBDM Department’s district office to find out whether the Pinelands Zoning scheme regulations permits this. If a home owner or tenant wishes to run a business or a crèche in a residential area, they will first need to follow the procedures in the Pinelands Zoning Scheme.

Should anyone wish to complain about an unlawful activity in Pinelands or Thornton, they must lodge a written complaint on the standard complaint form by fax or e-mail with the Regional Manager’s secretary or at this stage, to the relevant officials detailed below:

  • Alma Stoffels: Regional Manager’s secretary
    Tel: (021) 400 6442
    Fax: (021) 419 4694
    E-mail: alma.stoffels@capetown.gov.za
  • Farrel Smith: Technical Assistant
    Tel: (021) 400 6407
    E-mail: farrel.smith@capetown.gov.za
  • Charles Mcgrath: Acting Principal Admin Assistant
    Tel: (021) 400 6500
    E-mail: charles.mcgrath@capetown.gov.za

Deadline for applying for rates rebate extended to 31 Oct 2009

The rates rebate, which is implemented on a sliding scale of 10% - 100% was made available during June 2009 to registered homeowners whose total household income is R8 000 a month or less, where the occupants are aged 60 years or more, or if they are the recipients of a disability pension/grant.

Anyone who turns 60 within the City’s financial year which runs from July 2009 until June 2010 and to whom the other conditions such as income and disability apply, qualifies as a beneficiary of the rebate

Various rates rebates are also available to bona-fide farming operations, non-government organisations, public benefit organisations, religious organisations, health and welfare institutions, educational institutions, historical monuments, charitable institutions, sporting bodies, cultural institutions, youth development organisations and animal protection organisations.

For more information, please call the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089.

Law Enforcement in Pinelands

In terms of the policy relating to the City's Law Enforcement departments sponsored by the private sector/interested organisations, have negotiated the deployment of two law enforcement officers to the Pinelands area. Constable Aries and Adams commenced operating on Friday 14th August. They will be enforcing all by-laws and regulations in our area including dumping, illegal parking, unlicensed vehicles, vagrancy, dogs, etc. Please warn your visitors that if they park on a verge or public open space they are liable to be fined. Parking limits should also be strictly adhered to.

Athlone Settlers Way Community Waste Facility

At the August meeting of the Ward Forum I requested a report outlining why the Athlone Community Waste Drop Off Site which serves the densely vegetated areas of Pinelands and Thornton is the ONLY site which limits garden waste to grass cuttings and soft greens and what steps are to be taken to resolve this unacceptable situation. The Pinelands area is arguably one of the most densely populated vegetation areas in the metro with regard to trees and other vegetation. It is inconceivable that the drop off site serving this area is the only site in the metro that restricts garden waste to grass cuttings and soft greens. I have raised this previously but the City seems to be disinterested in correcting the situation.

Draft Animal By-Law for Public Comment

The City has amended and finalised its draft Animal By-law. The final version proposes several improvements to the by-law, which consolidates the various by-laws of ten previous administrations into one uniform piece of legislation. These include the number of pets per household, the protection of animals, the rules governing kennels and catteries and the rules on nuisance behaviour. Among others, the new provisions offer better protection for animals against fireworks; impose fines of up to R20 000 to prevent dog-fighting; seek to promote the well-being of cart horses; prescribe stricter conditions for kennels and catteries; and deal with animal identification and the removal of dog faeces in public places. Closing date for comments is 31st August 2009.

For further enquiries and submission of comments please contact: Senior Inspector Peter Lottering on
Tel: 021 577 4088 or 084 211 2115 or Fax 021 577 3616
email: animal.bylaw@capetown.gov.za

Copies of the draft Animal By-law may obtained from all subcouncil offices, libraries
or CLICK HERE to download it

Condition of the River Reserve

As result of many complaints, I convened an onsite inspection along the entire canal area in Pinelands. This was attended by line departments and various community leaders. All the problems were listed. There is a process that has to be followed before any work by a contractor is finally handed over to, or accepted by, the City. Regarding the work in the canal area, this hand over will not take place until all the remedial work has been satisfactorily completed. Full payment will be withheld until the work is finalized and accepted by the City. Officials have promised to keep my office up to speed with respect to the progress of remedial work. Once they have reached a point where they are satisfied with the overall remedial work , there will be another inspection of the area with those who attended the first inspection earlier this year.

What you should know about Swine Flu

Information and advice put out by Centre for Infectious Diseases at the Stellenbosch University (www.sun.ac.za)

CLICK HERE to read the article