Preserving the ’Capeness’ of Tokai and Constantia

Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association chairman Mark Schafer, Evan Brightman, Joanne Aaron, Gail Lawson, Pierre Zwartz, Jo MacRobert, Andrew Buhagiar, Nico Holtzhausen and Keith Barton. Absent: Byrall Smith and Lyanne Naiker.

Subdivisions and developments continue to be a threat to the low-density and suburban “Capeness” of Tokai and Constantia, says Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association (BMRA) chairman Mark Schäfer.

He was speaking at the annual general meeting, held in the Meadowridge Bowling Club last week.

Mr Schäfer said membership of the association was a great challenge. He encouraged existing members to talk to neighbours and friends and get them to join. Membership funds could be used to fight densification of the “garden city”, he said.

He spoke of the fight against several developments and subdivisions that were linked to a cluster of private companies (“Questions over valley subdivisions,” Bulletin, April 22) and of a recent partial success with one of the properties, in Meadowridge, where the municipal planning tribunal (MPT) had ruled in favour of the subdivision. It had gone on appeal, which had been successful with a second dwelling being allowed – but no subdivision.

At the MPT, mayor Dan Plato had said that the proposed development was “haphazard and inappropriate in an environment preserved urban situation”. Mr Schäfer said that was an encouraging sentiment and one which the association would use in future.

Another property is in Ruskin Road where the proposed development, according to the BMRA, is not in keeping with the area as it does not adhere to the integrated development plan.

“In addition to the dwelling, the owner/developer wants to build a further two flats on the street boundary. The argument advanced in favour of this inappropriate densification is that it is within one kilometre of the Main Road,” Mr Schäfer said.

“Our area needs to be preserved as it has been for many years as the green lungs of the City,” said Mr Schäfer. “The densification policy is being pursued without regard for the climate-change policy. Our suburban gardens are essential for the future well-being of the City,” he said.

Next year is the association’s 75th anniversary, and Mr Schäfer said resident Winnie Craythorne was putting together a history of the association that would also reflect the area’s history.

Depending on the Covid situation, the association is considering holding an exhibition and is asking residents to come forward with input for this, especially in respect of the various clubs and institutions that date back to the early days of Bergvliet and Meadowridge.

The meeting was attended by about 20 people, including DA candidate for Ward 73, Eddie Edwards.

Visit bmra.co.za for more information about the association.