City council undertakes to ensure access to Kalk Bay tidal pools

Cape Town city council has said it would “ensure through legal action if necessary” that public access to the tidal pools near Kalk Bay’s Brass Bell was restored.

Garreth Bloor, mayco member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, wrote to the Cape Times yesterday to say it was not “passing the buck” in dealing with the illegal structures built by the Brass Bell restaurant on the beach and the restaurant’s restriction of public access to the tidal pools.

However, it was unable to take action about the decks as this fell under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.

Last week, the city had met the owners of the land on which the Brass Bell has built the decks, Bloor said. The land, a strip of coast along the railway line, is owned by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa Corporate Real Estate Solutions (Prasa Cres). Prasa Cres has a lease agreement with the Brass Bell.

There was a public outcry when the first deck was built by the Brass Bell on the beach in December, and a door and signs which restricted public access to the pools erected.

Since then, the Brass Bell has built a second deck. Both have tents erected over them.

Bloor said the city had told Prasa Cres it would like the parastatal to ensure that the deck next to the tidal pool be allocated as public space and kept free of restaurant tables and restaurant activity, and that it be used for public activity. The same applied to the back of the pool area.

The city would like to see all electric cables and other Brass Bell items removed from the tidal pool area, the bolts in the tidal pool removed, no tent support structures allowed on the tidal pool walls, the Brass Bell sign above the children’s tidal pool removed and the sand area and the pool being kept as public space.

“The city is hopeful that Prasa Cres will formally agree to these recommendations and ensure compliance by its tenant, the Brass Bell.

“Legal action will be taken if necessary, but remains a final recourse as it can drag on for many years at significant cost to the ratepayers.”

Bloor said the city’s view was that the two decks built on the beach were illegal as they contravened the National Management Environment Act (Nema).

Environmental authorisation should have been obtained from the province prior to their being built.

Cape Times
Thursday 13 June

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