Old curmudgeon replies

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Dear Editor

Nomalanga’s Mkhize (‘Speculative buying squeezes out families’, Grocott’s Direct 23.10.20 ) that Grahamstown EYE should be less concerned about the historical character of Sunnyside than the “rapid studentification and rentalisation of the area caused by the greedy speculative tendency of the town’s property owners”. The comment was also posted on the Grahamstown EYE site and EYE responded as follows: “EYE agrees that the issues referred to by Nomalanga are a problem, a manifestation of which are the most likely illegal backyard flats that are proliferating in the area and the structure in the background of the attached photo is but one example.”

The DA’s Ward 8 councillor, Brian Jackson, was alerted to the matter in late July when building began but he never replied. A DA colleague of the DA’s Ward 8 councillor replied in early August that he and the ward councillor were “working around the lack of engagement by town planning” (whatever that means) and that is the last that was heard. The structure in the meantime is nearing completion and is, apart from any other consideration, no great work of architecture.”

So, Nomalanga, the issue of protecting the character of our neighbourhood and the issue of the “studentification and rentalisation” of the area are in fact not unrelated and it would seem that you and the “old curmudgeon” are actually in agreement.  The real problem is the dysfunctionality of the municipality and the ineffectiveness of our local councillors.

Yours sincerely
‘Grahamstown EYE’
Jock McConnachie

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