Questions fired at City over park

The Observatory Civic Association (OCA) has filed a formal request for the City of Cape Town to show that all parties have followed the law in the fencing and leasing of Malta Park, some of which falls under the Hartleyvale lease.

This is the latest development in an ongoing grievance with the City’s “sweetheart lease” of Hartleyvale and Malta Park to Cape Town City Football Club and the fencing off of Malta Park. “This is a public space that has been open to the whole community for many decades,” reads a statement from the association.

The OCA alleges that Malta A field has been fenced off without following the required public participation processes. It says Malta B field, which forms part of the lease, has been entirely excavated and Astroturf has been laid out on the entire field.

“The OCA fears that the investment into the Astroturf will make it almost impossible for the City to refuse to extend the lease, which would lead Cape Town City FC to building a 10 000-seater stadium on Hartleyvale­.”

The association says it made the request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act and that this means the City has 30 days to provide the documents or give valid reasons why it cannot.

“Our request asks for proof that Cape Town City FC had secured the appropriate permissions to install Astroturf on Malta B field and undertake extensive excavations of the field. Specific permissions are required under the lease between the City and Cape Town City FC. This is about more than the sports fields. This is about due process, transparency, public participation and inclusivity,” reads the statement.

Mayco member for assets and facilities management, Stuart Diamond, has previously refuted the claims, stating that the lease was conducted “in an open and transparent process which allowed for public comment and objection” (“City under fire over stadium lease”, People’s Post, 12 June).

The City’s corporate services’ legal compliance office sent a letter to the OCA, confirming receipt of the request and stating it is receiving attention.

V For more details, call the OCA vice-chairperson, Gwen Dereymaeker, on 074 128 4608.