Cape Town – Cape Town property developers East African Properties say they are being victimised in Table View because they are “black developers”.
The firm recently had an application for a 35-unit block of flats at the intersection of Gie and Arnold roads approved by the City’s municipal planning tribunal (MPT).
The developers also claimed they had been told that they were going to change the demographics of a predominately white suburb with “new black semigrants”.
Neelesh Maharaj from Zero 2 One Properties, the main contractor for East African Properties, said there were more than seven developments along Gie Road which he said were built by “white” developers, including a development up the same road with 72 units but with no objections from the residents.
Maharaj also claimed that they received a letter from a resident demanding that they “go to India and build in their country”. This was before one of their foremen was attacked on site after removing a tree, he said.
Maharaj also dismissed what he said were claims that the development would provide low-cost housing.
This as the Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) which opposed the application is questioning the MPT’s approval of the development. At the centre of the GTAF appeal is the provision of the on-site wastewater treatment plant because the forum said its reference was not found in the application and did not appear on the site plans.
The MPT approved the application on condition that the developers must, at their cost, provide all the required internal and link water and sewerage services to the satisfaction of the Water and Sanitation Department before the transfer of individual units or utilisation of buildings for the approved purposes.
The GTAF initially opposed the application based on its envisaged impact, among others, on the biophysical environment and that it had no full-time economic benefits.
However, Tirfe Demissew from East African Properties maintained that the provision for an on-site wastewater plant was made, thus the MPT approval. Demissew said following objections to their initial application in 2020, the company re-applied to the City.
Maharaj, concurring with Demissew, said the initial residents’ objections were not in line with the City’s guidelines and they were not in contravention of any of the objections.
Spatial planning and environment Mayco member Eddie Andrews confirmed that the applicant provided for an on-site private treatment plant.
Andrews said the applicant opted to introduce a private plant during the course of the application before the application serving before the decision-maker, the MPT.
Andrews said in terms of the land use planning process, there was no requirement for a separate application type insofar as the proposed treatment plant is a subsidiary and supportive function to serve a single consolidated site.