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Kalk Bay residents demand restaurant stops expansion into tidal pools

Community members have staged a demonstration at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Community members have staged a demonstration at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Published Apr 4, 2022

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Cape Town - Kalk Bay businessman and owner of the Brass Bell restaurant and pub Tony White has been slammed by residents and social activists over his alleged plans to build a deck over a small public tidal pool.

White had not responded to the Cape Argus when contacted for comment.

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Residents are accusing White of monopolising the community’s natural resources for his gain.

Kalk Bay activist Traci Kwaai said that residents, in particular the native fishing community, were unhappy with White’s encroaching behaviour.

Kwaai said: “For 50 years, the restaurant has continued to build illegally on land owned by Prasa, extending its footprint to cover the public beach and restricting access to public pools.”

Kwaai said she believed the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was at fault for not underlining strict measures for its tenant to abide by.

On Saturday, residents, faith leaders and activists gathered next to the Brass Bell restaurant to protest against the further expansion of the eatery and to push the City and Prasa into clarifying the terms of White’s lease of the erf.

Community members have staged a demonstration at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
Community members have staged a demonstration at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
Community members have staged a demonstration at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Kalk Bay Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Tony Trimmel said: “Residents noticed foundations being built on the last piece of open beach, and deliveries being made of bricks and cement. The City was immediately informed and a meeting between the City, Brass Bell and Prasa was held to discuss a way forward.

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“We understand that Brass Bell was instructed to cease construction in the interim while a way forward was being negotiated,” Timmel said.

“While this is welcome, it does not solve the problem. As residents, we have been fighting this issue for over 15 years. The City needs to take decisive action, halt the current process and revert the site to what it was before all the additional spaces were taken up for commercial purposes,” Timmel said.

Kalk Bay residents are accusing businessman Tony White of monopolising the community’s natural resources for his own gain. Picture: Supplied

In response to the growing calls for the City to address the community’s concerns, Deputy Mayor and Spatial Planning and Environment Mayco Eddie Andrews said: “In 2020, the City adopted a coastal by-law with specific provisions to protect and ensure the right of public access to the entire coastline and coastal amenities. Brass Bell has been formally informed that should it prevent public access it will be served with legal notice in terms of the coastal by-law.

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“The by-law is a more effective instrument to protect public rights than the original MOA.The City protects public access to the tidal pools, shoreline and harbour area at Kalk Bay by enforcing the provisions of this by-law.”

Meanwhile, Prasa has distanced itself from the Brass Bell’s expansion project, choosing to issue Brass Bell a cease construction letter instead.

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