City under fire over stadium lease

2018-06-12 06:01
Observatory Civic Association chairperson, Tauriq Jenkins delivers the civic association’s objections to the City Council speaker’s office.

Observatory Civic Association chairperson, Tauriq Jenkins delivers the civic association’s objections to the City Council speaker’s office.

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The Observatory Civic Association (OCA) has lodged an official objection to the leasing of Hartleyvale and Malta Park to Cape Town City Football Club and the fencing off of Malta Park.

The association accuses the City of Cape Town of flouting public participation
requirements.

It says the lease agreement should be set aside pending due process and proper consultation, and that the club must stop construction work currently taking place on the site.

OCA chairperson, Tauriq Jenkins, personally delivered the document containing the objections to the office of City Council speaker, Dirk Smit, on Monday 4 June.

Jenkins says he handed the document to Smit’s personal assistant, Oriole Hamman, who was “very courteous”.

“We demand transparency, public participation and inclusivity,” the association says in a statement.

It says the City did not adhere to public participation requirements when it reached the “sweetheart” lease deal with the club.

Two months ago (“Dispute over soccer stadium”, People’s Post, 17 April) Mayco member for assets and facilities management, Stuart Diamond, said all comments and objections were considered before any lease rights were granted by the City.

However, the OCA says it has never been informed of the proposed lease but that the notice was allegedly sent to the City Bowl Ratepayers’ Association.

The OCA says it only became aware of the lease when a question was asked at one of its ordinary meetings on Wednesday 2 March.

“The association decided to investigate the fencing off and to report back to its members on Monday 2 May. The association then established that the fencing off was a condition of a lease entered into between the City and Cape Town City Sporting Club.

“The association was given a mandate to object to the lease process.

“The association has therefore acted timeously and in good faith when preparing this objection. Insofar as it may be necessary, the association seeks condonation of the late submission of this objection,” reads the OCA’s statement.

Its objections allege that:

.The City has approved the enclosure of land zoned Public Open Space without notice to the public.

.The City contravened the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations and flouted the Management of Certain of the City’s Immovable Property Policy, dated 26 August 2010, in that adequate public participation was not sought to enter into the lease which directly and adversely affects the rights of the public.

.The City has not notified the registered civic association, namely the Observatory Civic Association.

.The City has not notified the Two Rivers Urban Park Association.

The civic association says it represents the residents of Observatory and the greater users of Malta Park.

It wants the public to be granted access to Malta Park as a public space that has been open to the whole community for many decades.

“Observatory belongs to all, and Hartleyvale and Malta Park belong to all.”

The association also raised concerns about the proposal by the football club to build a 10 000-seater stadium on the Hartleyvale land, even though no formal application has been made to the City.

The City has confirmed receipt of the
documents.

Diamond says the lease agreement was done in “an open and transparent process which allowed for public comment and objection­”. Diamond adds the City advertised the lease through newspaper adverts.

“Notices were sent to the immediate adjacent owners, ward councillor, subcouncil chairperson and manager. Comments and objections were considered before any lease rights were granted.

“Due process was followed in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act and Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations dealing with the granting of rights to use, control and manage City-owned immovable property,” says Diamond.

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