OCA Update – May 2018

This is an excerpt from the OCA newsletter of 28 May 2018. Subscribe to OCA Updates here.

The next meeting of the OCA committee is 6.30pm, Tuesday 29 May. (You can get minutes from our last meeting here.)

A few highlights from the past month:           

What kind of Obs do we want? Last Saturday, OCA hosted a great visioning workshop to further develop the Obs Charter (link) – a roadmap for the whole community to promote Ob’s history and heritage, its built environmental, its environmental sustainability, and more. A draft of the reworked charter will be circulated soon.

The Living History of Obs: We had a packed screening of Edwin Angless’s documentary about the community on 10 May, followed by a vibrant discussion about the history of Obs. Residents may also be interested in Edwin’s recent article about the early history of Observatory published in Obs Life.

Social issues: The OCA is hosting a workshop with New Hope SA on homeless shelters and rehabilitation centres, on Saturday 2 June from 10am-12pm at the Community Centre. Please RSVP and invite others via the Facebook event. Participants are encouraged to bring toiletries, warm clothing or blankets to assist the homeless in Observatory.

Large Developments: In response to the plethora of large developments happening across Obs, the OCA’s Large Development Group will be running a workshop for residents on how the planning process works in the City, and where and when you can intervene in the process. The date is still to be determined: those interested in attending should email [email protected].


Architecture & Heritage: The A&H team continued to monitor building proposals in the area. Further unauthorised work has been identified in Observatory, including the proposed development in Kotzee Rd. A reminder that you can view the OCA’s interactive map of developments and building work here.


Building complaints: Any complaints about transgression of the law or City policies should be directed to [email protected]. We want to track the performance of the City Building Inspectors in this regard.  If you lodge a complaint, please alert us at [email protected].


Budget proposals: In early May, the OCA was one of those to weigh in on the City’s draft rates increases, to object to the lack of public consultation and steep hike in water prices and other rates (our submission is here). We were heartened to see the City reduce its initial proposed tariffs – a small but important victory for public consultation.


Liesbeek Heritage: Heritage Western Cape issued a notice in April provisionally declaring the River Club a Protected Area under the National Heritage Resources Act – a great victory for the promotion of our Obs heritage. Sadly, the River Club owners and the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works  have lodged appeals. As an interested party to the River Club Development, the OCA will continue to engage on this matter as it is resolved.


Water Census: On 16 June, the OCA’s Water & Sanitation Committee will continue to roll out the Water Census aimed to identify vulnerable people who may need assistance in the event of water shortages. To get involved, email [email protected].


Obs Welcome Pack: OCA members may be interested in the Obs Welcome Pack, setting out the key things to know about the area: https://tinyurl.com/OCA-ObsWelcomePack

Malta Park & Hartleyvale: While the OCA continues to contest the private capture of Malta Park and Hartleyvale, OCA chairperson Tauriq Jenkins has written up a short history of the situation here – The Tale of 3 Cities and a Civic.

Get involved: Would you like to become more active in the OCA’s work on a particular issue? These include Large Developments, Arts Sports & Culture, Business Forum, Water & Sanitation, Communications, Social Issues, Architecture & Heritage. If so, come say hello at Tuesday’s meeting!


Tell your neighbours: We want to make this monthly newsletter available to Obs residents who are not currently OCA members. If you know someone who would find this newsletter useful, please invite them to subscribe here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for announcements and updates throughout the month: @ObservatoryCivicAssocation.