‘Gatvol’ petition culminates in public meeting

STAFF WRITER

Stop the destruction of our environment and our economy through greedy over-development. This is the cry of more than 3 000 frustrated Far South residents who have signed the “Gatvol” petition over the past month.

The Far South Peninsula Community Forum (FSPCF) launched the petition at the beginning of March after years, it says, of not being able to get its message across to the mayor and City officials (“‘Hands off our area’,” Echo March 3).

Residents asked the mayor Patricia de Lille why traffic was at a standstill, why schools in the Far South were overflowing, why there were not enough clinics in the area, why the Far South was being neglected when it comes to pub- lic transport and why the mayor continues to approve new developments in the congested Far South.

“People were so keen to sign the petition,” said Dr Lesley Shackleton of the FSPCF “they asked for more copies to circulate. There were calls for public protests and demands that the City hear us and find some solutions.”

“We encountered very high levels of frustration when we circulated our petition,” said Patrick Dowling of the FSPCF.

“We realised that we had to communicate this to the City officials responsible for plan- ning and transport decisions, particularly with the start of the City’s new five-year budget process.

“We are painfully aware of the geophysical limits of our area, but we sense that the City just does not want to understand the enormous economic, health, mobility and ecological impacts of their development decisions, irrespective of the clear information put on the table. Things must change. People are ‘gatvol’.”

The FSPCF has invited City officials to address a public meeting in the Fish Hoek civic centre on Monday April 18, at 6pm.

All Far South residents are invited to participate and suggest possible solutions, said Dr Shackleton.