The Observatory Civic Association represents the Observatory community in discussions and communications with the municipality and other governmental organisations. We are a non-political organisation, with the aim of looking after the particular interests of our community.
The area in which we operate is contained by four major boundaries:
- The N2 in the South
- Browning and Rochester Roads in the North
- The M5 in the East
- The N2 in the West
Our Councillor for Ward 57 is Paddy Chapple.
The issues which face us all in the Observatory area include the following, among others: Safety and Security; Parks and other public spaces; Pubs, Public Concerts and Events; Traffic, Parking and danger hotspots; Construction and Building; Rezoning; Integrated Zoning Scheme- the policy with regard to building regulations; Rates and the Cape Town Integrated Development Plan
We are both privileged and challenged by many events and entertainment venues which exist in the community we represent:
While they represent wonderful facilities in a community such as ours, they also pose problems, particularly related to parking and noise.
While the effectiveness of any Civic/Ratepayers Association is somewhat limited, we count the following among the contributions we have made:
- The amendments of many plans so as to reduce subdivisions, the number of dwellings, departures and effects on neighbours and retain the heritage of Obs
- Significant improvements to Parks
- The revamp of the Village Green
- Communicating community objections to Liquor Licence applications
- Upgrading The Pepper Tree Square Parking area and managing it as an income provider.
- Helping many community projects with in Observatory
- Initiating the Social Issues Forum to allow NGO’s working with the less fortunate to collaborate on shared problems
and many more, which are currently nearing completion.
Through our membership of the recently established Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance we are able to tackle issues together with over 100 Ratepayers and Civic Associations in Greater Cape Town. This membership affords us and other Associations significant clout with the Cape Town City Council, and is currently proving very useful in the joint efforts we are making to amend some of the more unreasonable aspects of City Planning, including:
- The planned Shopping Centre on the banks of Princess Vlei, which will further degrade the environmentally ultra sensitive area, and offends religious and cultural groups
- The focus on the potentially damaging aspects of the spatial and zoning policies, including a new densification policy which seeks to promote high density development with little concern for the impact of such a policy or the infrastructure necessary to serve a growing city.
We also have a representative on the Ward Committee or Ward 57 of the Protea Subcouncil. Ward 57 includes Observatory, Salt River, Woodstock and Walmer Estate. Through the Ward Forum our representative communicates the views of our Association to the Council through the Manager of the Ward, Councillor Brett Herron, and the City’s plans to our Association and members.