2018: A Long-Term Vision for Arcadia
In 2017, the focus of the Committee continued largely to be on the non-enforcement of the By-laws of the City of Tshwane. ARRA witnessed a determined onslaught on our area by irresponsible developers, evidence of estate agent mis-selling, and all aided by the lack of enforcement by the CoT. We were hopeful that the change in local government will positively influence the state of affairs in the city. The CoT has finally agreed to give the RA’s the go-ahead to develop Precinct Plans, focusing on the long-term strategic spatial planning for the areas, as opposed to the prevailing ad-hoc maintenance and planning resolutions.
It is indeed a pity that to a certain extend our hopes of an improved service delivery from the CoT have been dashed, as we are experiencing continued power outages and poor service delivery, especially from by-law enforcement . The residents and the committee are constantly monitoring what is going on in the area, reporting suspicious behaviour and suspect properties. All the council needs to do is to act on the information that is given through. However, instead of this, we are regaled by excuses that there is sabotage, lack of funds and blaming the previous regime. We have been very patient and understanding so far, so now we need to see action.
Towards the end of 2016, and following strong lobbying by ARRA and OPERRA, we had the good news that CoT is now rolling-out the Differential Rates Policy, and all associations were requested to send in their list of suspected non-compliance in their areas. ARRA submitted a list with around 54 properties classified into 3 categories . CoT inspectors began visiting the sites to confirm the business usage or infringements of the planning/zoning code, with immediate levying of differential rates on ‘non-permitted use’ and follow-up court action through the Municipal Courts for infringement of the planning/zoning code.
It is unfortunate that the CoT has not managed to drive this process successfully. Not only are we required to send the list in over and over again, there is action against only a fraction of the illegal land use cases. This could be a huge source of additional income for the council, yet they do not tap into this. This places an additional burden on the committee, as we need to constantly follow up on these properties. It seems that we will be forced to take legal action against the CoT at some stage to force them to implement their own by-laws.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous developers are very creative and constantly find new ways to subvert the by-laws. Therefore, we must stand together and be resolute – we must invest together in our future as a residential community!