Maiden's Cove will remain untouched by developers

Cape Town developers who hoped to buy 5ha from the council for R1bn have thrown in the towel

28 October 2018 - 00:00 By DAVE CHAMBERS


Campaigners fighting to save a jewel of the Cape Town coastline from a sea of concrete are celebrating victory.
Two weeks after the City of Cape Town admitted defeat in its plans for Maiden's Cove, between Clifton and Camps Bay, the developers who hoped to buy 5ha from the council for R1bn have also thrown in the towel.
Lawyers for a shelf company linked to Ethan Dube's Vunani Capital, which was announced as the successful Maiden's Cove bidder last year, told the group that led resistance to the plan - the Bungalow Owners Association - this week they would no longer oppose its Cape Town high court bid to stop the development.
Top lawyer Billy Gundelfinger, one of the leaders of the association's campaign, called it "a great victory for the people".
"The litigation is now at an end [and] this exquisite heritage site is preserved for the benefit of the community," said Gundelfinger, who owns a bungalow in Clifton.
Dube and his fellow directors wanted to build houses, a hotel, a shopping mall and a 700-bay car park. But a council report earlier this month, based on legal advice from advocate Jeremy Gauntlett, said the process followed in selling the land was "procedurally unfair".
Gundelfinger said the council decision to sell the land had ignored its protected status under the National Heritage Act. "It was declared a heritage site due to its scenic value with the express purpose of safeguarding the site from future development," he said.
"[It] was one of only two beaches on the Atlantic seaboard non-whites could use during apartheid, and it will now be preserved for future generations."

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