Battle over stadium and Malta Park

Plans for the Hartleyvale Stadium have not been submitted yet.

The Observatory Civic Association is threatening to sue the City of Cape Town over its leasing of Hartleyvale Stadium and Malta Park.

The issue was discussed at the OCA’s annual general meeting earlier this month, and members backed a motion to take legal action.

OCA chairman Tauriq Jenkins said there had been several objections to the leasing of the stadium and the subsequent fencing of Malta Park.

The City signed a two-year-and-11-month agreement with Cape Town City Football Club to lease Hartleyvale Stadium grounds and Malta Park for R8 500 a month. The lease expires on December 31, 2020.

Mr Jenkins said the OCA felt taking the City to court would set a precedent on how public participation should be done.

“This is about bringing a systemic change to the way the City does things,” he said.

Residents picketed outside Malta Park in August, against what they called the privatisation of open public spaces in the area – and the leasing and fencing of the park (“Observatory residents voice concerns about public space”, Southern Suburbs Tatler, August 2).

At the time, Mr Jenkins said they had lodged an official objection to the speaker of the City in June and handed over a 250-page document, which included 176 signed petitions and 108 affidavits.

He accused the City of flouting public-participation requirements by not notifying the registered civic body in the area and by approving the enclosure of the public open space without notice to the public.

Most of the residents at the AGM supported the proposal to sue the City, saying they were still in the dark about the actual plans for the stadium.

The Tatler reported earlier this year on the soccer club’s R250 million bid to turn the old Hartleyvale football grounds into a 10 000-seater stadium, but the City said no plans had been submitted (“Residents red-card proposal,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, April 12).

Dale Forbes told the AGM that residents had to take a stand as the proposed stadium plans would see the suburb encroached on from all sides.

In his chairman’s report Mr Jenkins said Observatory had been at the forefront of water-saving efforts during the water crisis.

He also had strong words for the multi-billion rand private development proposal on the banks of the Lieesbeeck (“River development halted,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, October 25). He said it was a development that defied morality, science, and history and “one that defies the essence and soul of Observatory.”

The OCA’s new committee was also elected at the AGM.