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Objection Template

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TO:    Managing Director / Executive Manager
City of Joburg Property Company (SOC) LTD
P.O. Box 31565
Braamfontein, 2017

Forum ll Building, Braarnpark Office Park
33 Hoofd Street
Braamfontein

Attention: Sakkie Venter  / Helen Botes  / Francis Sardianos

Ref: Park Closure Klipriviersberg/South Hills

Dear Sir/Madam,

Letter of Objection: Proposed Permanent Closure of ERF 1202 South Hills, Holding 88 Klipriviersberg Estate and Portion 65 of the Farm Klipriviersberg 106 IR Zoned as a PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

With reference to:
●    Notices placed on Nephin Road, South Rand Road, Southern Klipriviersberg Roads

We would like to formally object to the Proposed Permanent Closure of ERF 1202 South Hills, Holding 88 Klipriviersberg Estate and Portion 65 of the Farm Klipriviersberg 106 IR Zoned as a PUBLIC OPEN SPACE (commonly known as “Moffat Park”) based on the following grounds:

a.    GDARD REFUSAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION
Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) have refused the environmental authorisation.
GDARD recognise the sensitive nature of the site
>    Wetland, Non-Perennial River
>    Irreplaceable Area, Important Area, Ecological support area, Gnaphalium nelsonii red list habitat, Cineraria longipes red list plant and habitat, Khadia beswickii red list plant and habitat and ridges as depicted by GIS
>    Ridges
The closure of the park for the establishment of a mixed residential township is in violation of GDARD’s ruling.

b.    REPEAT OF APPLICATION
In Sep 2012, this same process was requested with closing date 30 Sept 2012.
This second repeat application should be declined due to the prescribed period not having elapsed or new or material information being submitted.
The costs of re-appealing this second application are a burden on the community.

c.    NOTICE BOARD ERRORS
The notice board does not comply with ordinance requirements
1.    The notice is attached to a pre-printed sign making it difficult to distinguish from “For Sale” signs.
2.    The notice seeks to “Supersede all previous notices” without documenting which notices it refers to, and whether the prescribed period has passed, which is not permitted
3.    The date of publication is missing from the notice – making it impossible to calculate “30 days from the date of this publication”

d.    LOSS OF COMMUNITY HERITAGE LAND
This is against the wishes of forefathers as expressed in the title deeds - "The land is to be used solely for the purposes of a public park" – see Page 3 section (a) and page 6 section (f) of the “Deeds of Transfer”.

Moffat Park was presented to the council for use as a park:

“Johan Abram Moffat, a prominent architect, presented Lot D. Farm Klipriviersberg to the City for a Park, and on 19 May 1936 the Council decided to give the park the donor's name” - closure of the park is clearly against these wishes and removes a benefit from the surrounding community.

Closure of Moffat Park sets a very bad precedent, what's next – Closure of Rhodes Park, Mellville Koppies, The Wilds?

e.    Loss of park that serves the community for recreation with its associated health and well-being benefits.

Moffat Park is currently used for recreational activities such as walking, hiking, mountain biking, camping, bird watching, education, etc, by residents of surrounding suburbs
See
http://moffatpark-johannesburg.blogspot.com/
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/46033776
http://www.moffat-park.co.za/photo-gallery/moffat-park
for examples of residents using Moffat Park for
  • Photography,
  • Walks & Hiking,
  • Apostolic Faith and
  • Geological exploration

This closure would result in loss of this facility that serves the community.

Moffat Park is a good quality, accessible green space and provides many health and well-being benefits. The most significant of these can be grouped into three broad categories: (1) increased life expectancy and reduced health inequality; (2) improvements in levels of physical activity and health; (3) promotion of psychological health and mental well-being.  Associations have been found between access to green space and raised levels of physical activity, which in turn improves individuals’ health. Green spaces also have a beneficial impact on mental well-being and cognitive function.

This close of the park seeks to reduce one of the last remaining natural public open spaces in the South of Johannesburg.

f.    Loss of open natural, environmentally friendly green space and its associated climate change benefits.

Moffat Park has an important role in supporting the adaptation of people who live in the surrounding suburbs and city to a changing climate.  It provides shade, cooling and wind interception and an insulation role in the winter. It also mitigates the risks from climate change-induced reductions in air and water quality; and it provides a buffer for habitats and species, whilst contributing to attainment of sustainable urban drainage and controlling upstream water flows to reduce flood risk. Effectively harnessed, Moffat Park has the potential for informing people about climate change. Moffat Park can also be used to promote an appreciation of the impacts of climate change and lifestyle changes needed to reduce further effects and/or to adapt to them.

g.    Loss of Wildlife and habitats
Ecological benefits of urban green infrastructure are largely related to the provision of habitat. Species from the very common to the very rare make use of all types of green areas like Moffat Park.
Back Sparrow hawks, hares, and other animals have been observed in Moffat Park.

h.    Moffat Park has the potential for enhancing social cohesion.
It can bring people together, and can create community cohesion as different social groups engage with each other whilst making use of the park for recreation.

i.    Negative effect of values of surrounding properties
Closure of the park would have a negative effect on the values of the surrounding properties – people have invested in these suburbs because park enhances their quality of life.

j.    Educational Use
Schools surrounding the park, such as The Hill, St Martins, HighVeld etc, use the park for educational purposes including geology, biology, flora and fauna excursions as well as for physical educational like cross country running.

Closure of the park would deprive the educators and children of this resource.

The community makes use of the park, and rejects the application to close Moffat Park.

Based on the above, we feel that the request for the closure of Moffat Park must be declined.

We reserve the right to raise other matters and / or objections at a future date.

Yours faithfully,




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The PDF and Word versions below can be downloaded, edited and submitted.
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  30k v. 1 Nov 13, 2012, 6:14 AM Alberto da Silva
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