Stellenbosch Municipality

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Planting trees is about more than beautifying the environment. It is also about greening our souls.

With this belief Stellenbosch Executive Mayor, Conrad Sidego, launched his Million Trees Project in April 2013. And now he is extending an invitation to other municipalities, organisations and individuals in South Africa to help him plant 1 million trees countrywide in September – Arbor Month.

Since he launched the Million Trees Project, more than 21 000 trees have been planted in the greater Stellenbosch Municipal area.

“Trees are symbolic of nurturing, safety and perseverance,” says Sidego. “The benefits of trees to communities are enormous. Some studies have shown that there is less aggression and violence in leafy environments. There is also research which shows that children fare better academically when they grow up surrounded by trees.”

It is widely accepted that trees have environmental benefits – the most important being that it helps counter global warming and the greenhouse effect.

Trees that bear edible fruit can also help to counter food insecurity and tree planting projects can help to boost the economy by providing job opportunities.

Sidego and his team, headed by Gerald Esau, Manager: Community Services at Stellenbosch Municipality have created a website where individuals and organisations can register every tree planted.

“It is important for us to include schools and learners in this project because we believe that planting a tree can teach a child important lessons – not least caring for a living thing,” says Esau.

Those who cannot plant a tree, but who would nonetheless want to be involved in the project, can make a financial donation.

“Let us take hands countrywide to not only beautify our country, but to also contribute to the emotional wellbeing of every South African,” says Sidego.

For information about donations and how to register trees The Million Trees website can be accessed by clicking here or go to www.milliontrees.co.za.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Stephanie Nieuwoudt 083 297 8785

Executive Mayor receives honorary membership from Rotary Club

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Rotarians scale great heights. There were the Wright brothers who invented and built the first successful aeroplane, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first European who reached the summit of Mount Everest and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.

“And I believe that Rotarians scale great heights each day through the different initiatives that address challenges in their communities,” said Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch on Wednesday evening (21 July 2015) when he received honorary membership from the Rotary Club Stellenbosch.

Ms Zelda Ellis, a past president of the Rotary Club Stellenbosch with Executive Mayor Conrad Sidego.

He received his pin from past president Zelda Ellis.

“We believe the Executive Mayor, like the Rotarians, wants to serve the community of Stellenbosch,” said Ellis. “We are giving him honorary membership in recognition of his commitment to the Rotarian organisation.

Sidego was one of the founding members of a Rotary Club in Denmark, when he was ambassador to that country in the 1990’s and he has a longstanding relationship with Rotary Innternational.

“I am looking forward to working with Rotary Stellenbosch to address the needs of our community,” Sidego said.

Overarching drive to act against illegal building activities, structures in Stellenbosch

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Stellenbosch residents who erect illegal buildings on their properties or who are using existing structures for purposes other than what the municipality had given permission for, risk being prosecuted. They also risk losing their insurance cover if the property is damaged in a disaster.

This is the warning of Dupré Lombaard, Director: Planning and Economic Development at Stellenbosch Municipality. The Municipality initiated a drive in March this year to act against owners of illegal structures. This drive is overarching and includes farm owners and restaurateurs as well as home owners who rent rooms to students.

According to Cllr Johannie Serdyn, Mayco member for Planning and Environment 14 cases have since March been handed over to the lawyers.

It is estimated that there are more than 1 000 properties in the municipal area where owners erected buildings without prior building plan approvals, or changed the use of the buildings without prior land use approvals.

“The municipality is aware of these illegal land uses and unlawfully erected buildings in the rural areas, mostly on farms, zoned for agricultural use and in the urban areas, zoned for single dwelling use, but used for student accommodation,” says Lombaard.

Conrad Sidego, Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch says: “In Stellenbosch, Innovation Capital of South Africa, we strive to keep all our residents safe and to ensure a dignified lifestyle. By acting on illegal activities, we minimise the risks of possible tragedy.

“There is always a need for accommodation in the town Stellenbosch and in the surrounding areas. And there will always be those who will try to secure an income from this need. One has respect for the entrepreneurship shown in the process, but as a municipality it is our responsibility to maintain law and order. We cannot just allow illegal building and the erection of illegal structures as this could easily lead to chaos.”

The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977, Act 103 of 1977 (NBR), defines buildings and structures and the requirements for the erection of them. Land owners often argue that farms and properties outside of urban areas were exempted from the need to submit building plans.

“However, at no time since the implementation of the NBR was any property exempted from having to submit building plans, other than specifically exempted informal settlements,” says Lombaard.

“All farms and land holdings, mines and quarries, state properties included, must have building plans for the structures erected thereon. Owning properties with buildings and structures for which no building plans or other approvals were granted, holds significant risks for the owners.”

The Stellenbosch Municipality wishes to assist land owners to regularise the use of their land and to gain approvals and authorisations in terms of the relevant statutory provisions. In order to reduce the risks to land owners and the problems faced by purchasers, the Municipality started with a drive to investigate and act on illegal structures in March.

“Some farm owners who have permission to run guesthouses are renting out accommodation on a long-term basis. We encourage tourism to Stellenbosch as it boosts the economy and creates jobs. However, when units meant for tourists are let out to long-term tenants, this does very little to bring in revenue or to create work opportunities,” says Lombaard.

“We are also acting against business owners who have illegally erected structures which serve as restaurants and we are investigating private residences where 8 to 10 rooms are let to students. This is in contravention of the Stellenbosch Zoning Scheme which stipulates that a maximum of 2 non-family members (students) may be accommodated in a private residence.”

According to Lombaard the municipality is using aerial photographs and GPS data to determine whether structures are newly built. This is supported by inspectors who visit the relevant properties. Residents who are found to have acted illegally, could face a fine or be forced to demolish the structures. The ideal would however be to legalise the desirable structures and uses.

Lombaard emphasises that the Municipality is keen to help residents to follow the legal route.

“If you already have a structure which might be illegal, speak to us. We will advise you on how to go about obtaining legal permission for the building.”

  • The NBR defines a building to include " any other structure, whether of a temporary or permanent nature and irrespective of the materials used In the erection thereof, erected or used for or in connection with - the accommodation or convenience of human beings or animals, ... the cultivation or growing of any plant or crop, … any wall, swimming bath, swimming pool, reservoir, ... " etc. The effect of the aforementioned is that buildings or structures erected without approved building plans are in conflict with the provisions of the NBR, LUPO and the relevant Zoning Scheme.
  • The Land Use Planning Ordinance, 1985, Ordinance 15 of 1985 (LUPO) and the regulations made in terms thereof, contain provisions on the illegal use of land and rectification thereof. Moreover, the zoning schemes applicable to the Stellenbosch Municipality contain further limits and prescripts within which land owners may or may not use the land.
  • According to the Consumer Protection Act, 2009, Act 68 of 2009 sellers of property are obliged to declare all legal defects – including illegal structures.

Geagte Inwoner

Die drinkwater in u gebied word verkry vanaf die Stad Kaapstad en versprei deur Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit. Stad Kaapstad het kennis gegee dat die watertoevoer na Franschhoek, Kylemore en Lanquedoc onderbreek sal word vanaf:

DINSDAG, 21 Julie 2015 om 10h00 tot

DONDERDAG, 23 Julie 2015 om 16h00.

Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit sal poog om die reservoirs vol te maak voor die onderbreking. U word egter dringend versoek om tuis ook voorsorg te tref vir die opgaar van water en water so spaarsamig as moontlik te gebruik, tot voordeel van die hele gemeenskap.

Geen besproeiing sal toegelaat word tydens hierdie periode nie. Ons vertrou op u samewerking en begrip vir die situasie. Navrae kan gerig word aan die Departement: Waterdienste by telefoonnommer (021) 808 8215.

WATER INTERRUPTION

Dear Resident

The potable water in your area is supplied by the City of Cape Town and distributed by Stellenbosch Municipality. A notice was received from the City of Cape Town that the bulk water supply to Franschhoek, Kylemore and Lanquedoc will be interrupted from:

TUESDAY, 21 July 2015 at 10h00 until

THURSDAY, 23 July 2015 at 16h00.

Stellenbosch Municipality will fill the reservoirs before the interruption commences. As residents you are however requested to make provision in advance to provide for your needs as well as to use water as sparingly as possible to the benefit of all. No irrigation will be allowed during this period.

Your cooperation and understanding will be appreciated. For more information, please contact the Water Services Department at (021) 808 8215

Bome in ‘mooiste lelikste’ straat hef buurt op

Deur: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Vind die lelikste straat in Groendal, Franschhoek.

Dit was so ’n paar maande gelede die opdrag van Conrad Sidego, uitvoerende burgemeester van Stellenbosch. Mnr Gerald Esau, bestuurder: gemeenskapsdienste van die munisipaliteit Stellenbosch het La Provencestraat in Groendal, Franschhoek geïdentifiseer. In hierdie straat het vullis oral in die straat gelê en graffiti het die mure ontsier. Op die sypaadjies was daar bykans geen teken van boom of plant nie.

Die volgende opdrag van Sidego was dat bome in hierdie straat geplant moes word. En van 18 tot 21 Mei vanjaar het ’n span mense van die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit en lede van die gemeenskap ingespring en 950 bome en sowat 3000 blomplante geplant. Vullis is ook uit die strate en sypaadjies en aan die walle van die Krommerivier verwyder. Digby die water is die gebied van ongewenste plantegroei skoongemaak en is piekniektafels staangemaak sodat lede van die gemeenskap hier kan kuier en mekaar beter leer ken.

Onderskrif: Me Naomi Marais en haar seun Dineo wys vir Conrad Sidego, uitvoerende burgemeester van Stellenbosch, van die plante in haar tuin.

Hierdie Mooiste Lelikste Straat-inisiatief is deel van Sidego se groter Miljoen Bome-projek wat in April 2013 afgeskop het. In effe meer as twee jaar is 21 078 bome in verskeie gebiede in die groter Stellenbosch munisipale gebied geplant. ’n Mens is dus nie verbaas dat Stellenbosch in 2014 met die louere weggestap het as Boomrykste Stad van die Jaar nie.

Hierdie projek ondersteun Sidego se visie vir Stellenbosch as die Innovasiehoofstad. Dié visie berus op vier pilare waarvan Groenste Munisipaliteit en Menswaardige Leefstyl twee van die pilare is.

“Gebiede soos Bishopscourt in die Kaapse metropool en Jonkershoek hier in Stellenbosch is bekend vir hul talle bome,” sê Sidego. “Jy kan jou geensins indink hoe hierdie plekke sonder bome sou lyk nie. Stel jou voor hoe anders woongebiede soos Kayamandi of Khayelitsha sal lyk as derduisende bome daar geplant word. Bome en plante verfraai nie net die omgewing nie. Deur op innoverende wyse die omgewing te vergroen, word ook ’n belegging gemaak in die vergroening van die siel ”

Naomi Marais, ’n inwoner van die straat sê dit is vir haar lekker om nou met haar kinders in die straat te stap.

“Die bome is nog jonk, maar saam met die verskillende plante maak dit reeds ’n groot verskil aan hoe die straat lyk. Ons straat, wat eers baie lelik was, is nou mooi. Dit laat ’n mens goed voel om soveel bome te sien groei waar daar voorheen niks was nie.”

Sy woon saam met haar man Melcho Boonzaaier en hul vier kinders Riveldo (12), Deneo (9), Aida (3) en Menen (3 maande) in die straat. Hul tuin is ’n lushof waar allerlei plante insluitend groente soos boontjies, kool, skorsies en pampoen groei.

“Melcho het nog altyd tuin gemaak, en toe Gerald Esau so ’n jaar gelede gesien het hoe mooi die tuin lyk, het hy gevra of ons nog plante wil hê,” sê Marais.

Esau sê die stukkie grond is gekies omdat daar geen ander groenigheid in die onmiddellike omgewing van die gesin se tuin was nie.

“Mnr Boonzaaier se geesdrif en gewilligheid om ‘n verskil in sy omgewing te maak het ons as munisipaliteit genoodsaak om plante aan hom te verskaf. Met hulp van sy vriende en ander lede uit die gemeenskap het hulle dieselfde dag die omgewing in n paradys omskep,” sê Esau.

Deesdae is daar soveel kos wat in die tuin groei, dat die gesin nie net hulself kan voed nie, maar ook hul oorvloed met die bure kan deel.

“Dit maak my gelukkig dat ons vir mense wat andersins nie kos sou gehad het nie, kan help,” sê Marais.

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