Coastal Protection Zone By-Law: Cape Town Takes A Step In the Right Direction

The city of Cape Town has released a draft proposal for a new by-law, designed to protect what is left of our 230km of coastline from further development, and hopefully save the city some money in the process.

Several developments around the coast cost the city a small fortune to keep maintained, several of them are in the Cape Point Peninsula area (the railway to Simons Town is one that is currently causing problems.)

The purpose of the by-law is to create a no-go zone for future development; the distance varies from 100m to several kilometers from the high water mark. Exemptions to the bill are harbours, Table Mountain National Parks property (presumably because they are protected under national law) and Koeberg Power Station. Some development will be permitted, such as the addition of storm water drains and other infrastructure; however that is as far as it appears the city wants to go.

For more specific information on the bill visit http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/Pages/HaveyoursayNewdraftCPZBylaw.aspx. The sicy is looking for feedback on the proposal. There are also a series of detailed maps of what areas will be affected.

We will see how far the city gets in their endeavors to get this bill passed into law. I have to think that a bill such as this, properly implemented and enforced will benefit us all. The problem is, as is being shown currently in places like Kommetjie, the thirst for land to develop and the money involved seem to trump the need to preserve our environment.

One thing pleasing thing that this does point to is the apparent determination of City of Cape Town authorities to improve the city for the good, regardless of the friction that this causes with some businesses. The recent changes to the liquor laws may have been rushed and ill conceived, however the sentiment was clear- the city is not going to be put at the mercy of profits.

Time will tell, this is still a draft bill and this puts it a long way from being law, but you have to think that it is not before time.

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