Cape Town mayor urged to save precious aquifer and treasured Philippi farmland

Cape Town mayor urged to save precious aquifer and treasured Philippi farmland

An open letter to Mayor Dan Plato by Karen Morris who wants him to stop encroachment by developers on the horticultural area that for centuries has supplied the City with fresh vegetables.

In 2009, at a full sitting of the Cape Town City Council, it was decided that the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) was to be protected and preserved. If the DA and its local government in Cape Town had adhered to this directive, they would have had an immeasurably valuable opportunity of not only creating jobs (which can be transient) but sustainable livelihoods for the small scale farmers of Philippi and its surrounds. In addition, they would have been able to support poverty alleviation, agro-ecology and land reform, all in one fell swoop.

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Submitted by : Francois V on 2019-12-20 17:51:25
Karin Morris's open l;egtter to Cape Town mayor Dan PLato is riddled with inaccuracies and non-facts. For example what is the Cape Town Aquifer? There happen to be no less than nine aquifers in Cape Town. Maybe the writer meant the Cape Flats Aquifer but in her haste to express a biased emotional opinion did not do her research properly and called it the Cape Town Aquifer.
The reality is that most of the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) has very poor sandy soil and without substantial addition of conditioners and fertilizer is unsuitable for agriculture. (Incidentally it is largely because of years of adding these very fertilizers and their runoff that Zeekoeivlei became one of the most polluted coastal lakes in the world.)
Is the writer aware that many of the successful commercial farmers in the area would love to be able to afford to move their farming operations somewhere safer and more suitable like Malmesbury for example.
The ground water in the PHA is not great and in fact often saline and unsuitable for farming and the hysteria about Cape Town City Council wanting to allocate some of the more unsuitable and degraded land for vitally needed housing seems to be driven more by an anti DA agenda than common sense and facts.
What are my qualifications for commenting on groundwater and farming in the PHA ? I have been drilling, testing and monitoring boreholes in Cape Town (and the PHA) for the last 24 years. Nuff said.


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