Tulbagh
Unlawful Airstrip Construction Appeals declined



Councillor John Veschini of the VIP - Voice of Independents Party, writes a letter to the DA Provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell. The minister declined to consider the appeals by numerous members of the community of Tulbagh regarding his decision to allow an airstrip to be constructed adjacent to approved developments and the town of Tulbagh. Full text of the correspondence available for the information of the public.

The DA Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs, Development and Planning, Mr. Anton Bredell,  responds to the Letter written to him by Councillor John Veschini of the VIP - Voice of Independents Party in respect of the appeal against the airstrip. In his letter he gives many reasons why the appeal were not considered (as where at least the appeals of at least four other parties including the Witzenberg Municipality) but he does not of course tell us why he approved the Airstrip which will negatively affect the chances of success of most needed developments in the first place? It is not amazing how decisions are made in Cape Town for Tulbagh and how one sphere of Government appears to work against the interests of another? The letter is added to the correspondence for general information. Is this airstrip sound planning? Does the one hand know what the other hand is doing? Why did we have to be placed in a position to have to appeal against a decision like this in the first place? You be the judge?

Letter from the Provincial Minister to an Appellant (similar to letters received by all the Appellants that are known by Councilor John Veschini to have appealed his decision




Response by Councillor John Veschini - a request that the Minister reconsiders his decision.

7 September, 2011

Ministry of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
Provincial Government of the placeStateWestern Cape

Attention, the Honorable Minister, Mr. Anton Bredell

Dear Mr. Minister,

Appeal : Rectification of the unlawful construction of an airstrip on Farm 147, Grootvlei, Tulbagh.

Your letter 0f 26 August as attached refers. (see also areal photograph attached for orientation purposes)

I (in my own capacity) and a few other who appealed against the above rectification including the Municipality, have all been advised that you have declined to consider our appeals due to non compliance in terms of Chapter 7 of the applicable Act.

I submitted and all others that I am aware of, duly submitted our Notices of Intention to Appeal, as well as the Appeal itself to the applicant, his Consultant and your Ministry - all in due time as far as I am aware. I most certainly did and followed ever procedure as I was advised to by the Consultant acting for the Applicant.

I was advised by your Deputy Director that I had to supply your good self with a statement together with copies of the appeal (the latter for the second time) as were all the other applicants. I clarified with Mr. De Villiers telephonically that he indeed requires the whole appeal again, as well as the statement he required. I informed all the other applicants to do the same.

As far as I am aware, all the appellants duly complied in time except for the Municipality whom I understand, submitted same one day late.

I suppose one could suggest that is matter is typical of one of the grey areas of 'overlapping' of the functions and powers of the Local Government and Provincial spheres of governance. My reason for suggesting that this perhaps this is the case in this instance and it is expanded upon as follows;

1.     The municipality became aware of the unlawful construction of both the airfield and ancillary buildings without approval of plans for the structure and without Town Planning approval and took appropriate action against the offender.
2.     The above action cause the applicant to apply for the rectification application (EIA).
3.     Due process was followed and all the appellants made comment.
4.     You in your capacity as the responsible Minister determined that the appeals could not be considered.

What this means to us as a community is the following;

1.     A lifestyle Village was approved by your Ministry and thus the Municipality. This would provide more Rates and income for the Municipality as well as sustainable job creation.
2.     A completely unlawful airstrip which to date has not had planning approval or has plans submitted or passed by the Local Authority about 100 m from the Lifestyle village and the town of Tulbagh per se'.
3.     The sustainability of the Lifestyle Village as well as an adjacent development is now in jeopardy as it is highly unlikely that there will be any demand for residential property at the end of an airstrip?
4.     The community of Tulbagh has to put up with the noise pollution associated with the aircraft and the location of the airstrip.
5.     The applicant already has an airstrip, far removed from the town, which has been used for years.

I would be pleased to know exactly under what circumstances you declined to consider the appeals which I understand have all been declined?

Furthermore I beseech you to reconsider your decision in this matter in the interests of the community and condone the late submission of the appeal by the municipality, in the interests of this community, an enhanced rates and services opportunity for the Municipality if the developments proceed, as well as relief for the residents in respect of the inconvenience that this airfield would cause to the residents in terms of noise pollution and degradation of their property values.

Yours Sincerely,

Clr. John Veschini
placePlaceNameWitzenberg PlaceTypeMunicipality
VIP - Voice of Independents Party
CityplaceMobile : 082 653 8229 (all hours
Tel. 023 2302172 (Office)
Tel. 023 2302696 (John Veschini at home)
Web : http://www.voiceofindependentsparty.co.za/
email : info@voiceofinependentsparty.co.za

Copied to all known Appellants, The Municipal Manager, the Senior Town Planner, all Councillors of the placePlaceNameWitzenberg PlaceTypeMunicipality, either electronically, or by hand and posted to http://www.tulbagh.net for community information as circulated to the local eNews.

The DA Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs, Development and Planning, Mr. Anton Bredell,  responds to the Letter written to him by Councillor John Veschini of the VIP - Voice of Independents Party in respect of the appeal against the airstrip. In his letter he gives many reasons why the appeal were not considered (as where at least the appeals of at least four other parties including the Witzenberg Municipality) but he does not of course tell us why he approved the Airstrip which will negatively affect the chances of success of most needed developments in the first place? It is not amazing how decisions are made in Cape Town for Tulbagh and how one sphere of Government appears to work against the interests of another? The letter is added to the correspondence for general information. Is this airstrip sound planning? Does the one hand know what the other hand is doing? You be the judge?


The letter from the Provincial Minister to the Appellant below wherein he states that he is satisfied with the appeal process (and by implication, his decision to allow the airstrip). (Copies of the appeal were served on the Applicant also - by the way)