As a practising built environment professional and academic who has had his part in educating literally hundreds of architects, planners, urban designers and the like at both the university of Cape Town and other institutions over the past 40 some years, I regrettably turned 76 some two days ago, I want to place the following clearly on record in the broader longer term public interest:
The currently prevailing dominant culture within the ranks of officialdom at the Municipality of Cape Town where senior planning and other officials have been instructed by the Mayor to simply say YES to development applications is deeply undermining of the exercise of professional responsibility. I have this on absolute credence evidence that this is so.
This culture is patently tending to result in professional officials becoming compromised ethically and not being able to do their jobs effectively. I have personal knowledge of very able professional built environment officials who feel compromised and intend to leave the employ of the Municipality because of this fact.
It is more than ironic that the Mayor of the city, the very person who will ultimately decide on this appeal, as you pointed out Mr Chair, is the very source of this prevailing and crass development at all costs culture which seems to be dominating the City of Cape Town in this current time. The outcome of this appeal will have serious consequences for Cape Town. I pray that the Mayoral advisory panel will provide appropriate and good advice. Thank you.