Inspection at Tafelsig scrapyard

Councillor for Ward 92 Norman Adonis with municipal officials at a scrapyard inspection in Tafelsig.

Various City of Cape Town departments and SAPS inspected a scrapyard in Tafelsig following complaints of a stench, rats and to check for possible stolen goods.

SAPS, municipal officials, metro police, law enforcement, fire and rescue, environmental health and the metal unit conducted the operation at the scrapyard in Stella Street on Monday February 27.

Norman Adonis, councillor for Ward 92, said they have already closed five other scrapyards since October.

He said that he had received more than 10 complaints from neighbours and that there is a matter pending in the Mitchell’s Plain municipal court between the City’s department land use enforcement and property owners, Vernon and Reva Fortune.

They are due in court next week.

The department alleges that the couple had contravened the municipal planning by-law and the matter has been pending in court since last year.

On Monday, Ms Fortune was given notices from the departments of fire and rescue, and environmental health.

Ms Fortune told the Plainsman that she may be in contravention of some by-laws and that she is working with the relevant departments.

She only runs the scrapyard between noon and 5pm and a “makeshift” school for about 14 pupils who had never been in school. Their ages include preschoolers and a teen who may be too old to attend school.

Ms Fortune said helping the pupils with placement was a priority for her.

She said that her paperwork was all in order, including her second-hand trading licence, which only needed to be renewed next year.

She showed the Plainsman the certificate of registration as a second-hand goods dealer, trading as R & V Logistics, valid until October next year.

The licence was issued in October 2019. The only condition is that the dealer must adhere to strict compliance with business hours.

That is Monday to Friday, including public holidays from 9am until 5pm; Saturday 8am until 1pm and no trading on Sunday. They also have a Western Cape government certificate of registration to trade as a recovery or recycling facility, dated April 2018.

A municipal land use official advised one of her teachers, Shirley Jongbloed, that they must apply for consent because they had more than six children on the property.

He also advised that only one business could have consent use on a property.

Ms Fortune said it is her right to do business on her property to ensure her expenses are covered.

Eddie Andrews, deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said the City’s development management department was in the process of issuing a notice for unauthorised buildings on the property, which is a contravention of the City’s Municipal Planning By-law.

He said Monday’s inspection follows a site inspection conducted on May 23 last year.

Mr Andrews said the current unauthorised use of a portion of the property as a scrapyard or recycling facility was not permitted as a primary right in terms of the property’s single residential 1 zoning.

“As such, this use is in contravention of the City’s municipal planning by-law,” he said.

A notice was served at the property last year and the matter is before the court and the next appearance is on Wednesday March 15.

“A ‘place of instruction’ is only permitted on a single residential 1 zoned property (such as this one) with council’s consent.

“No such application for consent use has been submitted to the City or approved. Thus, for a school / crèche / place of instruction to be operating from this property – as was evident from the land use inspectors’ most recent visit – the necessary land use application needs to be submitted to the City for assessment,” said Mr Andrews.