Archive for December, 2012

Brass Bell cut deal with PRASA to lease land for beach deck

December 27, 2012

The city’s Kalk Bay councillor is investigating whether the land used for the Brass Bell restaurant’s new deck on the beach is owned only by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), after residents complained that no public participation process took place.


A view from the new deck towards the kiddies’ pool in the background

Residents are furious after Brass Bell owner Tony White built a deck next to the children’s tidal pool and a door along the walkway between Kalk Bay Harbour and the train station.

Residents feared the public’s access along the walkway and to the bigger tidal pools behind the Brass Bell would be restricted.

Prasa, which says it owns the land, has acknowledged that no communication took place with residents.

Local councillor David D’Alton said he was investigating whether a public participation process had taken place and was also waiting for city officials to verify whether all the land belonged to Prasa.

“My understanding is that the land on the beach is public property, but so far I am getting reports that the land belongs to Prasa and that they did not have to get permission from the city. But I have not yet verified this,” D’Alton said.

Henry Masimla, manager of Prasa’s corporate real estate division, said: “For years that land near the kiddies’ pool has been unused and it became an eyesore because there is no control over that area, especially this time of the year.

“The Brass Bell’s lease was renegotiated earlier this year and we agreed to lease the additional piece of land as well because it was derelict.”

He said Prasa was happy with the improvements White had made as he had agreed to keep the neglected area tidy.

“In our discussions with Mr White when he submitted the plans, we agreed that the public would have unrestricted access and that he would only lock the door on the walkway at night to protect his assets,” Masimla said.

He said Prasa had not undertaken a public participation process as the land was privately owned.

“The changes were minor and would improve that piece of land so we agreed to it on that basis. In terms of communication with ratepayers, that didn’t happen, but purely because we regarded it as minor work,” he said.

“But we have agreed to start engaging with ratepayers regarding all Prasa issues in the area.”

Members of the Kalk Bay/St James Ratepayers and Residents’ Association have described the move by White and Prasa as a “takeover” and “privatisation” of the beach and tidal pool area.

Residents also took offence to the “private property” signs around the tidal pools which say that trespassers will face criminal prosecution.

Both White and Prasa have given an assurance that the public’s access to pools and walkway will not be restricted.

“Our stations are used by the public, “Masimla added.

“We want to serve the community and provide access to them but we also need to keep our facilities upgraded.”

Cape Times

27 December 2012


Kalk Bay residents angry over ‘privatisation’ of Brass Bell beach

December 24, 2012

Kalk Bay residents are up in arms over the “takeover” and “privatisation” of the local beach and tidal pool area after the owner of the Brass Bell restaurant built a gate between the harbour and tidal pools and built a new pizza restaurant with a deck covering a third of the beach.

The tidal pool and beach with the new gate in the foreground

The tidal pool and beach with the new gate in the foreground

The Kalk Bay/St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association says it was not consulted about the move.

Residents are also furious over “private property” signs and a door that has been installed on the walkway, which they say will restrict access of beachgoers and residents who use the walkway from Kalk Bay harbour to the Kalk Bay station subway.

Association chairman Tony Trimmel said the construction of the deck area near a “kiddies” tidal pool had shocked residents.

The deck area has a canopy and several wooden tables and chair sets which extend onto the sandpit area around the tidal pool.

People now have to walk through the deck area to access two tidal pools which surround the Brass Bell.

Construction started a month ago and was completed last week. “We want to know who gave them (Brass Bell owners) the authority to erect this deck right on the beach. Then the ‘private property’ signs went up, and we took offence at that because it reminds us of the old days when people of colour were restricted from using these beaches,” Trimmel said.

He added it was also unclear whether the Brass Bell had obtained approval from the city.

“The number one issue is that the amenities in Kalk Bay belong to the city and its people. The Brass Bell’s interaction with the community is nonexistent,” Trimmel said.

Brass Bell owner Tony White said he was a tenant and leased the land for the restaurant and the deck extension from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa). White said he had applied to Prasa and had been granted approval to build a kitchen and the deck.

“Some of the ratepayers seem to think I am denying access to the pools, but that is not so. The beach and tidal pool area will be open at all times, but the walkway will be closed at night to provide security for my assets,” White said.

He said he would close the door around 1am when the restaurant usually closed.

White added that the “overwhelming majority” of the public was in favour of what he was doing with the sandpit area as it was previously under-used and neglected.

“It is private property and Prasa is entitled to do what they want on that property, and I obtained approval from them. The sandpit area was hardly ever used and it was somewhat of an eyesore. “Prasa decided to lease the land out to me, and I will keep the area clean,” he said.

Asked whether the public had been consulted, White said: “It… is private land. If Prasa felt it should be opened for public consultation, that is up to them. But I am certainly not going to restrict people’s right to use the pool.”

Residents said they had contacted Subcouncil 19 chairwoman Felicity Purchase, but hadn’t had any information on whether White and Prasa had followed the correct channels.

Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle said although the land did not fall under the province’s authority, he would contact Prasa management to inspect the site.

“Beaches belong to all the people in South Africa. Anything happening on the beaches has to be approved by the city through a proper planning transaction, and I’m not sure that has happened…” he said.

The Cape Times could not reach Purchase for comment.

Cape Times

24 December 2012

Kalk Bay & St James security over the high season

December 20, 2012

The ratepayers committee have liaised with various role-players to ensure a safe and secure environment during the holidays :

  • The Harbour Master has arranged to clean the Harbour Beach daily with her staff and will provide security for the Beach as she is able.
  • The Mountain Men two man patrol should start operating in Kalk Bay on Monday, 17th.December. They also have an observer on the mountain above Kalk Bay during daylight hours.
  • The monitored security cameras on Main Road should start operating a day or two later.

Both these operations are mainly funded by the Harbour House Restaurant, with contributions from Olympia Restaurant and the Ratepayers Association.

  • The Mountain Men have agreed to take calls from residents through their switch board dealing with specific problems in public areas. The number is 021-7003120

They will then contact the relevant authorities and report the problem. The Mountain Men street patrol will assist where possible.
These calls will be monitored and logged by the Mountain Men and we ask that any residents making such a call, report back to Crimewatch with brief details of the response (or lack thereof) to the particular problem.

This record would be very useful in future dealings with the authorities.

  •  The Mountain Men customers will continue to receive their normal service with the dedicated patrol vehicle.

We hope that the above measures will improve the poor security situation in the Village area which has existed in previous years but much depends on the vigilance of you, the residents and businesses. Please report problems.

Bert Stafford
Security Portfolio

Main Road Kalk Bay open to two-way traffic for holiday season

December 6, 2012

Please be advised that Main Road between Clairvaux Road and Kalk Bay Harbour will be opened to two-way traffic from 16h00 today (6 December 2012).

The stop-go system will not be in place during the holiday season. A temporary surface has been constructed over the works area and the original traffic signals will be operational for this period.

Main Road will remain open to two-way traffic until the end of January 2013.