2015-06-09 06:00

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Have you ever felt like the wool is being pulled over your eyes?

That is perhaps the best way to describe the collective feeling of many Capetonians when it comes to property development.

While no-one would for a minute say development is a bad thing, decisions seem to be made between council officials and developers. The contributions of the public, the community and even the neighbours seem to be cast aside, applied only where it is absolutely necessary or not even asked for in the first place.

Too often, neighbours are fobbed off with the lines “It’s within the property zoning” or “Due process was followed”.

But as a transparent administration, is it not the job of council to give residents information on which decisions are being made and why they are being made?

And if they are, as they say, a “caring and inclusive city”, one would hope they would listen to the opinions of those living within their administration.

Yet we witness the opposite on a regular basis.

Pensioners living in council flats along De Waal Drive may be forced out to make way for a high-end residential development.

Public open space in Clifton is under threat of development, which will include 40 homes, a hotel and shops.

It’s not that we don’t want to see our city flourish, with investment pouring in and infrastructure improving.

But can you expect the local community to watch as gentrification spreads across the city, from Woodstock to Sea Point, and say nothing?

Can you really expect us, in this age of information flow, to blindly sign off on developments of which we have been given absolutely no details?

It’s time to come clean and declare what is being built, where, and how it will affect those around it

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