Hold the City accountable

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Mark Jackson, Tamboerskloof

On open letter to ward councillor Nicola Jowell:

I’m sure you, as our public representative for the Atlantic Seaboard, were as upset as many of us, to read “Ratepayers’ action stops development in Camps Bay“ (Atlantic Sun, February 3).

I fully concur with this comment: “Such conduct by City officials, to favour developers, is simply unacceptable. We have rights, which must also be respected. We have a duty to challenge such conduct of City officials, whenever and wherever it occurs. It is not acceptable that City officials collect rates and charges from ratepayers every month, but when it comes to decision-making, our rights are trampled.”

It seems some developers try to exploit Camps Bay, simply because she is so beautiful. And too often they almost get away with it, due to City officials not doing their job of serving the public.

I think, for example of the Maiden’s Cove attempted-development, where the City approved it, and it was left to the public to defend the integrity of Camps Bay. Was any City official ever held to account over that?

And isn’t it shocking that the folk who give up their time to voluntarily participate in ratepayer associations, should have to use their own funds to take City officials to court? And is it legal for the City to use ratepayers’ money against ratepayers?

Why can’t the city give some financial support to ratepayer organisations, especially in such legal matters?

Who in the City wrongfully extended the zoning?

Will you be able to identify these individuals, if not to us, then at least to yourself?

What action will be taken against them, for, we believe, wasting our ratepayers funds trying to defend this matter in court?

What action will be taken against them, to ensure they never commit such, we believe, acts against the community, again?

Nicola Jowell, Ward 54 councillor, responds:

I am aware of the article and the property in question.

This matter is currently before the courts.

The Mayco member for Spatial Planning is also aware and I have followed up to better understand the history from the City’s side.

I am not able to comment until all the facts are available and the matter is no longer part of a court process.

But if there has been wrong doing on the part of any officials then this will need to be dealt with by the administration to prevent it from happening again.