Category Archives: Research related

Long Street side lane closures / privatisation

A local newspaper is doing an article on side lane closures in Long Street. If this is of interest to you, and if you have thoughts or ideas on these developments, please can you provide feedback to the questions below:

  1. Who is the person(s) responsible for the closures of lanes in Long Street?
  2. How do you feel about these closure?
  3. What would you like to see happening with regards to potentially closing Vredenburg Lane
  4. How have you engaged with other relevant stakeholders (eg the City, SAPS, CCID, etc) around this matter?
  5. If you have, what has the feedback been from these bodies and has any discussion with them yielded any results (Whether positive or negative)?
  6. Do you know who was responsible for the closure of the other Long Street lanes (Orphan and the lane one adjacent to Clarke’s)?
  7. Do you have have any concerns around these closures? If so, what are there?
  8. Do these closures portend a possible trend? If so, what are the possible positives of such a trend and what are the negatives?
  9. What value does having accessible lanes add to Long Street?
  10. Any other comments you wish to make?

Talking Streets on Long Street

You are invited to join Open Streets in a public walk and discussion about how Long Street can be made safer, welcoming, inclusive, and more ‘open’ to people.


Thursday 5th September, 2013 from 13:00 to 14:00
Saturday 7th September from 18:00 to 19:30


Corner of Long St. & Orange St. (in front of the Long Street Turkish Baths). The walk will be down Long Street and carried out to observe the different conditions during the day and after dark.


Open Streets Cape Town will facilitate a conversation with residents and the public to explore challenges and opportunities to make Long Street a more diversified, safe and attractive destination so that any changes on the street respond to needs and objectives of residents and other relevant businesses. This will be the beginning of a series of walks that will help identify specific design components, planning parameters and avenues for community participation for short and long term changes.

Councillor Dave Bryant will be present to hear and respond to raised concerns. The format will be an open discussion where you will have an opportunity to contribute your ideas, questions and concerns. Suggestions compiled during this walk will be documented and disseminated to create greater awareness of how streets can better serve residents and businesses, and to encourage the participation of all who use the streets.

There is a 25 guest limit; please register to ensure your spot on the details below.

Contact | @OpenstreetsCT | +27722146736 | Open Streets is a citizen-led initiative working to actively change the ways streets are used, perceived and experienced.

Creating a pedestrian-friendly zone in Long Street is not a new idea

From the Peoples Post, by Nicole McCain, 27th August 2013

After the Good Hope Subcouncil accepted a motion from ward councillor Dave Bryant to make a section of Long Street a pedestrian friendly zone, some, with previous failed attempts in mind, are asking if the idea will this time get off the ground. The proposal suggests closing the section between Wale and Watson streets, allowing only delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles and MyCiTi buses to travel this stretch.

Almost eight years ago, property development firm Indigo Properties funded a proposal to close the street over the weekend through drop down booms in an attempt to create a nightlife hub. However, this was never approved by the City of Cape Town, after an investment of thousands of Rands by Indigo and the approval of the property owners. Former ward councillor Belinda Walker did not disagree with the proposal but says she was concerned about the impact the pedestrianising of Long Street would have on traffic. “It is important to note that this proposal was received long before the MyCiTi bus system was conceptualised,” she says.

Two years ago, rumours surfaced that the road would be closed off, but at the time council had not received any proposals. At the time, the Long Street Residents’ Association did a survey of its members. The survey found residents were evenly divided on the matter, and residents still remain so. “I doubt it will happen,” says Long Street pedestrian Matthew Tyler. “It’s a busy road and it would be nice, but it will just attract more problems. Having more tourists in the area will attract issues like drug dealing and begging.”

Indigo Properties still strongly supports the pedestrianisation, says spokesperson Daisy Dickinson. “We feel strongly that it will enhance the patron experience in the area, improve road crossing safety due to decreased traffic congestion and enhance foot traffic which will therefore have a positive effect on the businesses in the area. We feel it would have an immensely positive impact on the area, businesses and ultimately the tourism industry of Cape Town as a whole,” she says.

Long Street resident Randall Wyngaard is also in favour of the pedestrianisation. “Having traffic takes away from the air of the place. It would allow shops to display their goods on the pavement. It’s nice to walk down the street. You don’t need cars here.” However, he has his doubts that the new form of public transport is the solution. “MyCiTi buses is not a factor. It doesn’t alleviate the congestion, it just causes more.” Byron Qually, the association’s chairperson, says the discussion around closing the road to vehicles has been going on for some time. He says the closure has never taken place because the “issue becomes quite polarised”.

However, Bryant believes this is the right time to introduce the pedestrian zone. “The central city is constantly changing and improving. There have also been many significant shifts in the urban environment as a result of refurbishments done in the run up to the 2010 World Cup,” he says. “Waterkant Street and St George’s Mall were certainly much more ambitious proposals and they have worked incredibly well.” The MyCiTi bus system has also made the motion more feasible, Bryant says.

“The roll out of the MyCiTi bus system over the past few years has also changed the way that we use the central city. There is now a MyCiTi route running down Long Street and there has been a steady increase in the number of people using bicycles and skateboards to get around town. This combined with all the other vehicular traffic is creating an extremely dense thoroughfare at the top of Long Street.” The motions will now be considered by the transport department for further comments. If these are positive, says Bryant, a plan will be put together for public comment.

“In the meantime the possibility exists for one or two temporary closures either in evenings or over weekends,” he says.

Copyright The People’s Post, Media24

Long Street to be paved?

From the Cape Argus, by Anél Lewis
, 20th August 2013

Cape Town – Bustling Long Street may soon become a pedestrian’s paradise if the City of Cape Town approves a proposal to close off a substantial section of the road to general traffic. The Good Hope Subcouncil, that includes the CBD, has approved a motion to turn the top half of Long Street from Watson Street to Wale Street into a permanent “fan walk”.

Councillor Dave Bryant, who made the proposal, said service delivery vehicles would still have access during set hours, and emergency vehicles and the MyCiTi buses would still be able to drive along the road. “It has been looked at a number of times. The central city is changing every day with new businesses opening, improved public transport and more pedestrians.” In his explanation to the sub-council, Bryant said it was becoming increasingly difficult for law enforcement to take action against vehicles that blocked traffic in Long Street.

The police had complained that their law enforcement activities were being affected by delivery vehicles and stationary cars. “This is combined with a very large number of pedestrians who mingle in and out of the traffic. In the evenings the pedestrians are inebriated which makes the situation even more dangerous.” Bryant said he was aware of concerns that the street was used by many vehicles, including those doing deliveries, so there would be a dedicated lane for those, as in St George’s Mall. Bryant said there was “overwhelming” sentiment from law enforcement agencies, community organisations and others to restrict vehicle access in this section of Long Street.

Tasso Evangelinos, chief operating officer of the Central City Improvement District, said: “The effect it will have on making the central city more pedestrian-friendly would be an extremely positive move.” He said the continued access for MyCiTi buses would further promote public transport. “As far as we know, the idea has been on the cards in one form or another since the 2010 World Cup, when the whole of Cape Town saw the enormous success of road closures that created amazing public spaces through which people moved freely and safely.” But he added that by closing off the road, the city would be creating a new public space that would need to be properly managed. “The resources therefore must be provided to ensure a clean, safe and secure environment.”

Most of the activity in Long Street, already established as an entertainment destination, was managed indoors and usually between the hours of 11pm and 4am. “… this activity may now well spill out onto the streets, so adequate resources to manage this will be critical in terms of keeping people safe, cleaning the area after each night’s activities and enforcing the laws and by-laws.”

Two years ago the Long Street Residents’ Association did a survey of its members. Although most supported the idea, many were concerned that patrons of nightspots would spill on to the street, treating the area as an “open-air nightclub”. A Bree Street resident said closing a major arterial road such as Long Street would exacerbate traffic congestion in the city. It was suggested that vehicle access be limited to certain hours. The proposal will now be referred to the executive directors of transport, economic development, environment and spatial planning and safety and security.

One of the recommendations is that “from the outset” the process of deciding on Long Street’s access will include input and participation from the local community and those who will be affected.

Copyright The Cape Argus

How should Long Street be pedestrianised?

The question on how Long Street should be pedestrianised has again been raised. Whereas before it came from the private sector, this time it appears to be local government who is exploring the idea. If you would like to be part of the conversation and have your thoughts included in the People’s Post Newspaper, please provide feedback on the questions below to Nicole McCain of the People’s Post (Journalist) on 021 910 6500 / 084 738 9977 and

Note that all responses should be provided by 15:00 on Thursday 22 August to accommodate deadlines.

1. Are you in favour of the pedestrianisation of Long Street, and why?
2. What challenges do you currently experience as a resident of Long Street?
3. What concerns does the possible pedestrianisation of Long Street raise for you?
4. What form would you like to see the pedestrianisation take?
5. Do you feel you have been engaged in public discussions on the pedestrianisation?

Open letter to civic associations

Dear Civic Leaders,

The City of Cape Town is in the process of reviewing the system of delegations pertaining to its Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning (EESP) Portfolio. This forms part of an overall broader assessment of the City’s planning systems. These democratic processes are still unfolding and your input and views are critically important.

In light of the reporting on the matter that led to some confusion – together the City’s principle of communicating openly with the citizens of Cape Town – we would like to clarify a few matters relating to the System of Delegated Authority.

At the outset, and contrary to a number of media reports, the current delegations review remains as part of a proposal that has not yet been approved by Council or even considered by the Council. The review of the delegations system comes after engagement with internal structures, which has included consideration of sentiments expressed by various outside bodies, such as civic associations.

A previous report on this matter to the Mayoral Committee was not put to Council so as to allow for more discussion and refinement of the proposals. Over two months have passed and during this time significant changes have been made to the proposals.

This review of the system of delegations was necessary in terms of Section 59 (1) of the Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000 which necessitates that the system must “enable maximum administrative and operational efficiency in the affairs of Council”. Reviews of this nature are regular and required by law in order to ensure that Council processes ensure effective public input in planning matters, while ensuring that responsible and sustainable development can be achieved.

This review is in line with the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan, which commits the City to a planning regime that enhances and improves service delivery. At all times we seek to balance the prerequisite for local level engagement regarding planning decisions with the need for responsible development that helps create jobs.

The process of formal public participation is not under review or up for debate. The review mainly concerns the decision-making element relating to land use planning functions. Public participation processes will continue as is formally prescribed by law and Ward Councillors will continue to be informed of applications, as is the current practice. The City has always considered this a valuable and essential part of the process.

Despite reporting that suggested otherwise, neither the Executive Mayor nor any other single individual will be making all the decisions on planning matters. This was never an option and never will be. Furthermore, whatever structure of Council makes a planning decision, full auditable records are always kept to further enhance transparency.

Further discussion has led to the proposal that Subcouncils are to decide on all policy-compliant applications should any public objections be lodged when an objection has been received. When there is no objection from the community and a matter is policy-compliant, unnecessary delays will be avoided.

The City’s Spatial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee will consider all larger applications that trigger environmental or traffic impact assessments. In addition, the law still allows for appeal to the relevant body in Council, regardless of which structure took the decision, thus allowing the opportunity for decisions to be reviewed where necessary. This means all decisions can be appealed, including that of the Mayoral Committee.

These checks and balances are fundamental to protecting the rights of all interested parties.

Notwithstanding the above at this stage of discussions, no final decision has been taken on the reviewed system and it is yet to be formally considered by Council. To date all that has taken place is debate and consideration of the merits of various models that will help to ensure administrative and operational efficiency, which is in line with democratic and consultative principles.

A primary driver of reviewing the delegations was to streamline accountability within the City by officials reporting to your elected representatives – not to vest power in any single person but rather to centre responsibility in the executive civil servant appointed to oversee the planning departments.

A single point of responsibility and accountability (not decision-making) of the previous functionally fragmented delegations to individual departments is now proposed – to ensure sustainable and integrated triple bottom-line (environmental, social and economic sustainability) decision-making.

Robust debate is a necessary part of reaching the best possible and most efficient decision-making system with the necessary transparency and accountability to the people of Cape Town. There is no need for any individual or grouping to feel that local input into planning decisions is being done away with, when in fact this will always be protected.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office should you have any further questions on this matter.

Your role as civil society is deeply valued, thus please use this and other open channels of communication to ensure Cape Town advances as a world class city for its residents.

Councillor Garreth Bloor


CCID residential survey

The Central City Improvement District (CCID), the organisation that helps to make sure the streets of Cape Town’s CBD are clean, safe and caring, is currently conducting a survey of people who live in town.  By gaining a better understanding of how people use the city as a residential space, the CCID can better focus their services to make sure the needs of residents are met.

The survey will take you around 15 minutes, and by taking part, you stand to win one of three great prizes:

  1. An Apple iPod Shuffle
  2. A R200 dinner voucher for Bizerca Bistro
  3. A R150 breakfast/lunch voucher for Café Mozart

All results of the survey will remain confidential.  Overall results will be communicated to you through an exciting report that tells you more about your city and the people who live in it.

The CCID would very much appreciate your feedback, both in terms of Cape Town’s CBD and in terms of the CCID’s levels of service.

Here is the link to the survey:

If you have any questions about the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact Andrew Fleming, the researcher at the CCID, directly at

Data gathered cannot be appropriately assessed …

From the CapeTowner, by Monique Duval, 20th September 2012

An impressive 81% percent of businesses in the central city are happy with being located here – and 78% of them are likely to stay. These are the findings included in the latest report of the Central City Improvement District (CCID). The glowing report states that the CCID has invested R290 million in levies into the central city over the past 12 years.

In his presentation, CCID chairman Rob Kane said the report was done to get an independent objective view of the city and set a benchmark for progress. Mr Kane says the report is intended to be an authoritative guide for investors, business decision makers and government officials, who are looking for current information on the economic state of the Cape Town CBD. “The report is intended to be an authoritative guide for investors, business decision makers and government officials, who are looking for current information on the economic state of the Cape Town CBD. “The CBD contributes 24.5% of business turnover into the larger Cape Town metro region. This world class business district is strategically placed as an investment link to the rest of South Africa and a gateway into the African continent,” he said.

The report was welcomed by Good Hope Sub-council chairman Taki Amira who said the efforts of the CCID have added value to the central city. Mr Kane said they had invited 1 800 businesses to participate in an online survey and 244 businesses participated. “The profile of the 244 is a fair representation of the profile of businesses in Cape Town CBD. In a second survey, we interviewed 1 567 users of the CBD. These are people who are using the CBD for either retail, entertainment or business purposes. It is a representative sample of the people that you see walking in the CBD,” he said.

For the report, Mr Kane said they also interviewed a mix of people who moved around the CBD, including tourists. “In order to ensure that we end up with a representative sample, we divided the CBD into geographic areas and allocated interviewers to each area. They interviewed people between 8am and 2am from Wednesday March 14 until Tuesday March 20. By doing this we could control for any bias – whether it was from a time of day, day of the week or area point of view,” he said. Mr Kane said the on-street survey was designed to find out what people thought of the Cape Town CBD as a geographic location and was aimed at “The business user survey was designed to find out what business users thought of the services of the CBD in general and the CCID’s services in particular. The findings presented were a summary of the opinions of both groups of respondents,” he said. Mr Kane said the business survey focussed only on businesses, while the user survey may have involved business owners who were walking at street level and who were intercepted by interviewers.

Byron Qually, convenor of the Long Street Residents’ Association (LSRA) said residents should have been included in the survey because they contribute to CCID levies and are part of the fabric of the city. He said the association considered the report to be highly valuable for both residents and developers wishing to enter the CBD. “The LSRA, being a residential platform, has the reach and intimate understanding of the state of the CBD, and it is surprising that we were not contacted to contribute to the report. “However, if the report is intended to complement the CCID’s marketing collateral, then there was no need to include the LSRA,” he said. Mr Qually said one concern was the research methodology used. “The summary on page 38 should point to an addendum illustrating the survey itself, where and how the respondents were canvassed, the demographics of those interviewed.

“Without this information, the relevance of data gathered cannot be appropriately assessed. “Although the report is an interesting read, it’s has an overtly positive tone akin to a marketing document. Surely the challenges facing a growing Cape Town CBD also warrant surveying and measurement in order to identify appropriate solutions,” he said. However, Mr Kane said the report was the beginning of a strong research footprint. “We will be building on the success of this initial survey in which we engage with residents and property owners in the CBD so that we have a better picture of the CCID and the CBD for residents. Residents are vital to the success of the CBD. “We have always welcomed any approaches by the LSRA or other associations, and encourage greater partnerships for effective collaboration in building our knowledge,” Mr Kane said.

Copyright Cape Community Newspapers, part of Independent News and Media.

How do Long Street residents and hotels measure the CCID …

From the Cape Argus, by Lynette Johns, 5th July 2012

LONG Street residents say they are fed up with high noise levels, crime and grime and are now asking what the role of the Central City Improvement District really is.

Byron Qually who heads up the Long Street Residents Association says for the monthly levy which comes to R200 per resident, the impact is being questioned.

They say the CCID is far more concerned about the rights of business than those of residents, and too much money is spent on marketing and not enough on security and dealing with the real issues of crime and grime. Qually estimates that there are between 800 to 1 000 people living in and around Long Street. The CCID is a “top-up” of the services offered by the municipality.

Chief Operating Officer of the CCID, Tasso Evangelinos said he was more than happy to meet with the association.

Restaurant and boutique hotel owner Janis Ross says there are concerns from residential apartments and hotels being overlooked by the CCID in favour of bars and nightclubs which is detrimental to their businesses.

Ward Councillor Dave Bryant said the a special unit in the city’s law enforcement dealt with issues of noise pollution and two months ago the sound equipment of a popular nightclub was confiscated.

According to the residents association noise pollution and “associated criminal threats” is the main reason why Long Street residents are leaving the city. “Increasing costs, not just for additional levies, but due to long-term city parking being limited, and 24 hour charge for parking on the street is causing concern,”

Qually said. According to the association, Long Street residents collectively contributed between R120 000 to R150 000 every month. “This excludes those businesses that also pay a monthly CCID levy,” Qually said. He questioned why R19 million was spent on security service who had no power of arrest and R2 million on marketing.

“Both nightclub and residents have requested that part of that budget to go to a full time police officer who is invested with powers of arrest, but again no progress has been made on this. Why does an organisation such as this require such an large budget. Surely, it should be reallocated to the provision of services,” Qually said.

Bryant said the CBD was becoming increasingly mixed use and more people were moving in, but he understood the qualms Long Street residents have. “It is an area where issues around noise is high and that is because of all the clubs,” he said.

Ross said there are enormous concerns about the noise levels in Long street and these had to be addresses and by-laws enforced with urgency. “I have met many residents who have moved or who are looking to move and whilst most of our guests love our hotel they complain bitterly about the noise factor, and the ongoing harassment by informal car guards, drug dealers, illegal pavement parking and general unruly behaviour,”

Ross said. While the CCID had put more security on the street they did not have the power to arrest anyone and this posed a problem. “Less of these (security) and the deployment of police and traffic officers with the power of arrest would be welcomed by all,” Ross said.


From the Cape Argus, 6th July 2012

Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District has hit back at Long Street residents, saying most of its budget is spent on security and that Cape Town CBD is the safest and cleanest in the country. The Long Street Residents Association says the CCID is not doing enough about noise, crime, grime and parking, and queried its R33 million budget.

CCID chief operating officer Tasso Evangelinos said an independent survey had found that Cape Town’s CBD was considered to be one of the safest and cleanest in the country, and this was “thanks in no small part to the efforts of the CCID”.

Since the launch of the CCID in 2000, crime had fallen by close to 90 percent. It was the role of the city council to deal with noise pollution. Evangelinos said the cost of parking had come up strongly in recent surveys as an issue of concern for all users of the CBD. The CCID had passed the findings on to the city, which had started a public participation process, with the current parking tender about to expire.

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