By now you know that the ISDF (Integrated Strategic Development Framework) is meant to become the ultimate 30-year plan for Knysna and that many of us have claimed that the planning tender, the first tender, was illegally awarded to property developers, the people with the most conflict of interest.
R2million of taxpayers’ cash later, Treasury was finally ‘called’ to investigate. MEC Anton Bredell’s Ministry of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning is in charge of the investigation which was suppose to be complete by September 12. This has been delayed. I contacted Bredell’s office for comment whereupon his media liaison, James-Brent Styan, stated that new information had come to light and needs to be incorporated into the report before being delivered to Bredell and Knysna’s Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans. It is expected that Ivan Meyer, as head of Provincial Treasury, will also view it.
Objectors are divided on the investigations intentions, between those that believe that Knysna Municipality’s wall of secrecy is about to crack and those that see the investigation is part of a cover-up.
I cannot take a position as rumour and information is also divided. However, i can hope for justice for Knysna’s sake:
Argument for Truth:
Lauren Waring, Knysna’s Municipal Manager, is pivotal in the mess that is the ISDF. It is rumoured that she has angered people in the Western Cape Government.
There has also been a shift in local political stance, with more anti-ISDF politicians joining the Knysna Mayoral Committee. Lately, in meetings in Council Chambers, there’s less fervent backing of Waring’s positions.
I have said to several DA politicians that the easiest victory the DA could have, which would settle unsettled white DA voters, is to side with objectors and reinstall the ISDF through fair process.
Argument for Cover-Up:
There appears to be no difference between Western Cape Government staff and the DA. Until 2 months ago, the DA had been one of the main obstacles to ISDF truth. Furthermore, MEC Alan Winde and Premier Helen Zille were long and well aware of the arguments for tender illegality. Those arguments were concisely and excellently compiled by Susan Campbell, an activist in Knysna. An independent report highlighted the conflict between the Knysna Municipality and the public.
So why would the Mayor of Knysna suddenly call for an investigation into the ISDF after she’d been in possession of the same information for a year and a half? It’s possible that she’s saving herself or trying to win merit points as municipal elections approach but it’s also possible that one way to stomp out the fire is to say, “We investigated and found no fire.”
Additionally, Bredell is known for controversially clearing the way forward for developers.
With our future at stake, no matter what political machinations get us there, we must hope for the best!
NB: Please educate yourself – submit ‘ISDF’ into the Search bar on this website and you will find a wealth of information and protest.