Lack of vision in City/ Forum plans for Princess Vlei

The Princess Vlei Forum states the following: See the comment from CAMPS below.

Bridget Pitt, PVF

(1) the City did take the Camps Plan into consideration when drawing up the Draft Concept Development Framework (2) the Forum did not ‘take over’ the people’s plan, it organised a range of community forums where the plan has been debated and modified according to community wishes (3) The CAMPS plan costs close to R100 million, with no clarity as to how this is to be financed. This is not a competition about plans, it is about engaging the community in transforming Princess Vlei. It is also absurd to work in opposition. The Forum is open to anyone who wishes to join, including CAMPS.

CAMPS’ response:

You right Bridget, it is absurd to work in opposition, however what you have failed to take into consideration is that Camps has a concept and as for the cost, as I previously explained there is no need to have everything in our proposal on the Vlei, but no one from City contacted me to enquire about cost and what is R100 million as oppose to R576 million spent on Green Point Park. Why is it that our community cannot have that kind of money spent in our areas? What you also fail to understand is that ‘the people’s plan started in 2007 already when I signed an Mou with City with the Dressing of the Princess project., I had already engaged with communities about their vision for the Vlei, introduced ‘adopt-a-plot with various school, But be that as it may, the draft City has come up with regarding residential and commercial development is not viable for a wetland, it will change the soil, and interfere with plant and animal life. Did we not fight against a development because of the area? How can building houses on the Vlei prevent crime. I firmly believe that for anything to be successful on the Vlei, a concept is needed. Look at Cape Town Stadium- City’s plan, right now its a white elephant and a waste of tax payer’s money, they tried the market on the Vlei sometime back, it failed, the fish market failed because there was no concept to it. Look at Camps’s proposal, the concept, forget about the cost, look at it and imagine the braai area, the kids play area, the craft market, the fruit and veg stall, fish market, flower shop and tell me again why putting those units up won’t work. The units are placed on wooden sleepers, which won;t harm the soil, the proposal has a management plan, security plan, work off the grid, how can this be a problem?

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CAMPS Concept Proposal for Princess Vlei

To see a copy please contact Ingrid de Kock on 082 922 2773 / C.A.M.P.S
(Caring and Managing Public Spaces) See extracts on this website.

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Draft Conceptual Framework for Princess Vlei- City of Cape Town

Princess Vlei 19 08 15 resized

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City releases Draft Conceptual Framework for Princess Vlei – many questions left unanswered


Camps went to the Princess Vlei Open Day in Retreat where the City released its so-called Draft Conceptual Framework for Princess Vlei. We questioned the official regarding the following:

1. Since it is a wetland, what materials do they propose to use for their Sports and Recreation Centre, Craft Market, Braai areas, Amphitheatre
As no concrete is allowed on a natural space, this was a concern!
2. What about safety and security?
3. They propose a gym, using what?
Non of these questions were answered because he didn’t know.
There wasn’t a Khoisan Village, which begged the question as to how will the First Nation be honored since it is ultimately their land.

Why is it a problem for the Southern Suburbs to have a WORLD CLASS interactive space which could benefit the entire community and create jobs which are sorely needed.
If this is City’s draft, who gave the City this vision and where did it come from?

As things stand the CAMPS Proposal is the only world class proposal for this Site.

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‘When we redefine public spaces, we redefine people and their thinking’ – Kelvin Cochrane

The degradation of Wetlands and Public Open Spaces reflects a history of our city Cape Town. Nature is not a given, but intermixes with society to produce socio nature. We are responsible for the environment we live in, and our socio natures reflect broader issues of power and justice in our City.

Lying on the Cape Flats, and centrally placed in Cape Town, Princess Vlei could build extensive relations and functions for multiple uses through the planning elements described below:

 Khoisan Village – the dedication of this project to the heritage and culture of the Khoisan People, that they as a people indeed deserve the status of being a First Nation Community.

And attract tourist abroad to a ‘must see destination’

 Craft Market- Cape Town has a traditional wealth of garment making talent and expertise, a tradition handed down through generations that produce the most fabulous garments and tailored suits.

 Kids Edu Centre/Play Park – A centre where kids can learn about their environment, where parents can bring kids during school holidays for holiday programmes and have peace of mind that they are safe and well taken care of.

 Memorial Centre/Khoisan Museum – A place where people can get to know the Khoisan, daily lectures will be given on the history of the Khoisan People in the Cape and elsewhere. It will be a cultural experience on Khoi life for both local communities and visitors brought to the Vlei through organised Tour Groups.

 Sunset Concert Park – There are so many talented artists in our communities, who for a lack of access to facilities that are community-driven; lose the opportunity to showcase their ability and talents, and thus also lose the opportunity to further their ability into a career.

In effect Princess Vlei can be made to tell multiple stories and histories with a very contemporary relevance: How were the forces of nature appropriated by the elite to create good healthy environment for certain groups of the City, while imposing degraded environments unto others in the Cape Flats.

Princess Vlei also speaks into the future of Cape Town, of how to create a just, inclusive and ecologically vibrant city.
Unemployment in South Africa is increasing daily, resulting in more people living below the ‘breadline’. This being said – It is essential to support an integrated approach to employment and decent work that focus on investing new initiatives such as Princess Vlei Project. Endorsing this project means job creation of sufficient quality to at least lift the people chosen on this project out of poverty in a sustainable way is a step in the right direction.
Investment in this project has the potential to stimulate socially cohesive attitudes in a community faced with numerous social challenges.
In all its facets, this is once again a truly Western Cape initiative aimed at restoring pride and dignity of a marginalised community, through expanding the reach of its beautiful space beyond its geographic limitations to be an integral part of the heritage and culture sites of this country.

This Project is all about the community – serving the community that fought to keep a space of historical and social significance by developing a space they can be proud of and that can attract the respect and interest of Tourist, Politicians, Environmental Groups and Businesses.

In Conclusion:
Good public open spaces is not an afterthought, nor is it a place where shrubbery looks beautiful.

Good public open spaces require activities, and an abundance of things to see and do.

It is very hard to create a public open space that is successful, meaningful and enjoyable, it is usually something that has to be fought for and then someone has to think really hard about every detail that has be done, someone needs to have a vision. They are opportunities for commercial investment, but they are also opportunities for the common good of a city and since those two goals are often not aligned with one another, therein lies the conflict.

The change to Princess Vlei will change the image of the Southern Suburbs, change the lives of the people in the area, but most importantly it will change the image of Cape Town.

We are truly confident that this project will be of interest to you as a potential investor.

Kind Regards

072 510 8066 / 021- 705 1713

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The People’s Plan for Princess Vlei

An exciting concept for Princess Vlei revealed…For too long people have been excluded from decisions about how our spaces should be used in this city, especially in less wealthy areas.
When I began with the rehabilitation project of ‘Dressing The Princess’, I would walk the banks and imagine something different there, something that would beautify the space and nurture both people and nature. Over the years, these dreams grew as more and more people joined the conversation about what they would like to see at Princess Vlei. I have spoken to pensioners, school children, nature lovers, historians, shopkeepers…people from all walks of life. As the ideas emerged, I put them together to form The People’s Plan. But this plan is just the beginning of a dream. our dream for the Princess, as encapsulated in the proposal is to enrich the community who love this Vlei…through realizing the People’s Plan.

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Official unveiling of the Princess Vlei People’s Plan/ local Forum tries to disrupt proceedings

The official Presentation and recent Unveiling of the Princess Vlei People’s Plan held at the Bottom Road Sanctuary in Zeekoevlei was an overwhelming success.

CAMPS wishes to thank all those who attended the Unveiling of The People’s Plan, it was a very engaging and enjoyable morning. A special thank you to the Khoisan leaders for the enriching opening ceremony and also for your support. It was truly heartening to witness such interest and commitment to the upliftment of the local community and beautification of our environment.

CAMPS: This work has come through many years of personal investment and engagement with local stakeholders and we have committed ourselves to ongoing communication and dialogue with the community in order to ensure we serve their interests. We will continue to act in good faith and to collaborate with others who do the same.
Thank you once again to all who attended; warm wishes and stay in touch. We will be updating you all soon on the next steps in realising a collective vision for a beautiful, useful and productive Princess Vlei.

Check out the CAMPS Facebook page

For more information contact Kelvin Cochrane on 072 5108066

Now that you’ve all seen the proposal for Princess Vlei, I’d like to know what your thoughts are about it. I believe it is a brilliant initiative for the Southern Suburbs. This is something that will uplift the community as a whole.

Petitions have been sent out for people to sign. Let me know if you’d like copies to get more signatures. The more the merrier smile emoticon

Job Creation is a top priority and this project will definitely help sustain people are who skilled and semi-skilled.

This proposal is a first of its kind in South Africa and although it is only a concept for now, I would love for our community to come together and help realize this plan with me.

Concepts bring investors, tourists, local and national people to the space because it is different and unique. People are evolving, so must our ideology.
Otherwise we will fail with any type of plan, but not a concept, because it has an attraction of something different.

Help us materialize this for you the community.

For more information on the petitions, please email:

Marlon Deveroux writes: This is a fantastic initiative i am so proud of our community heritage and wish to see more natural habitat being rescued so we can have well protected coloured areas we can take our children too


It was truly heartening to witness such interest and commitment to the upliftment of the local community and beautification of our environment.
We acknowledge attempts by some attendees to derail the proceedings. While we are happy to engage with those who have conflicting views, or have critiques to share, we do not appreciate the disrespect shown not to us but to our invited guests who took the time to attend the Unveiling. This we cannot accept and we condemn in the strongest terms. As one attendee noted, this was not the occasion to raise personal vendettas or use cheap tactics to discredit the CAMPS proposal. We know our work has come through many years of personal investment and engagement with local stakeholders and we have committed ourselves to ongoing communication and dialogue with the community in order to ensure we serve their interests. We will continue to act in good faith and to collaborate with others who do the same.

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Fundraiser for Princess Vlei

Just informing you that BR10 EVENTS MANAGEMENT in collaboration with CAMPS ( will be hosting a fundraiser in aid of The Peoples’ Plan for Princess Vlei. More details to follow…

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Dressing the Princess project

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Case against Insight developers withdrawn

The case against Insight Developers, who attempted to build a mall on Princess Vlei, has been withdrawn.
We urge members of the surrounding community, to help realize the The People’s Plan for Princess Vlei. CAMPS is the only organisation that has come up with a world class plan for the site. Support CAMPS! For more phone Kelvin Cochrane 0725108066

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