Things are looking good for the Princess and plans are starting to take shape – this was the sentiment at the fifth annual Princess Vlei Forum annual general meeting that was held on Thursday September 15.
The forum was originally formed to coordinate a campaign against the proposed development of a mall at the vlei.
Environmentalists, residents and people from all over Cape Town rallied together to stop the development and they were successful.
Currently the forum is working with the City of Cape Town to bring about improvements at the vlei, after discussions with nearby residents.
The Princess Vlei Forum signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the City in December last year, and worked with the City to get public comment on a conceptual development framework for the Area.
The framework was finalised in May this year.
Forum secretary Bridget Pitt said this has been a long drawn out process.
“These documents signal the greenlight for the development of amenities and projects that will restore the vlei and make it a location for all to enjoy visiting,”she said.
She said the City has subsequently contracted parties to put forward proposals for initial work, which include a walkway around the vlei, improved braai areas, and a bridge over the incoming canal on the northern end.
Further improvements could include a play park and communitiy centre but this depends on donor funding.
The forum has also been working with the City to improve the management of Princess Vlei, and are hoping to raise funds to get a full-time manager on the site.
Ward 72 councillor Kevin Southgate addressed the AGM and promised his commitment to the improvements at the vlei.
Mr Southgate will also make R200 000 from the ward allocations available to go towards the enhancement of the vlei and is hoping to contribute every financial year in his term.
A new executive committee was also elected at the AGM. Official positions are still to be decided but the members are Caspar Bam, Philip Bam, Malcolm Campbell, Wilma Maritz, Emma Oliver, Bridget Pitt, Gary Steward and Jill Williams.
The forum has had many events, projects, workshops and educational programmes at the vlei and has worked with various schools to teach children the environmental and cultural importance of the vlei.
The latest project is a build-up to the Flight of Dreams parade on Heritage Day Saturday September 24. For more information about the forum and plans for the vlei, go to www.princessvlei.org or email