Residents want balcony concerts back

Sea Point singer Danielle Bitton has been performing concerts from her balcony to uplift residents.

Since the first week of the lockdown, Sea Point residents have been showing appreciation to essential workers in the area.

It has become routine every evening for residents to all come out of their homes, stand on their balconies and thank the essential workers through loud cheers, singing and clapping for the work they are doing during the pandemic.

This resulted in Sea Point singer, Danielle Bitton, starting to do concerts from the comfort of her balcony in Sea Point.

This was welcomed by some residents, but others complained about the noise this caused in the area.

Following the complaints, the concerts were stopped by City of Cape Town officials.

A petition was started to allow the singer to continue with the concerts.

She said over the past few weeks of the lockdown, she has tried to lift the bleak spirit around the Atlantic Seaboard, which everyone was going through by entertaining them with some music performances. “My hope was to try to enable people to forget about all the issues that they are facing and just enjoy some music,”she said.

She said the response from hundreds of residents had been overwhelming and such motivation to continue. “Unfortunately, there have been some complaints from neighbours/ residents and the City of Cape Town have had to act on these complaints and must enforce the by-laws around amplified sound,” she said.

The City required signatures and permission from as many neighbours as possible to allow for the concerts to continue. The petition had more than 8 000 supporters and the City approved the concerts.

Ward councillor, Nicola Jowell, said there was an outpouring of support for the musician and her lockdown concerts.

“The City did receive a few complaints and I realise that some members of the community have been upset by this. But the City environmental health department has to follow its process and cannot simply set aside the complaints. And the complainants have a right to also have their voices heard,” she said.

She said the process has been followed with the complaints formally submitted, the petition from the supporting community received, and comments from the ratepayers’ association.

“I am pleased that I feel that we have reached a way forward. There were over 7 000 signatures in support, as well as emails, calls and WhatsApp messages from community members. We have not ignored the concerns of those who wrote into us to express these but hope that we have managed to find a way forward,” she said.