Tycoon Judy Dlamini enters the stormy enclave of Bantry Bay’s elite
Bantry Bay getting fed up as higher-density buildings choke lanes and spoil pricy views
One of South Africa’s black female business tycoons has joined Cape Town’s elite homeowners in paying top dollar for an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic.
But Judy Dlamini could be swimming towards the eye of a storm in Bantry Bay, as well-heeled homeowners are fed up with new developments in the area.
They have accused one businessman of threatening the aesthetics of the superwealthy suburb, robbing people of their views and even sunlight with a proposed block of high-density luxury flats.
Dlamini, the former Woolworths director and board chairman of Aspen Pharmacare, has demolished her 591m² home — and a new building is set to go up on the site.
Dlamini’s affluent neighbours on Ravine Road include racehorse owner Karen Sellars of Fieldspring Racing and Keith Shipley, the CEO of advertising agency BBDO South Africa.
Dlamini has applied to the city for permission to depart from the “restrictive title deed conditions” and her neighbours have until October 2 to “object” or “comment”.
This week her personal assistant, Buhle Ngubane, said Dlamini was “out of the country and with limited access to e-mail”.
Right behind Dlamini’s home is a massive property under construction, registered in the name of the Fugard Theatre. Eric Abraham, married to Swedish philanthropist and Tetra Pak heiress Sigrid Rausing, is one the directors of the Fugard Theatre, but it is not known who will be living in the house.
A German national recently paid close to R300-million cash for a home in the suburb. The 2015 city evaluation of Dlamini’s home was R26.8-million.
Homeowners on the Atlantic Seaboard go to great lengths to protect their views. Ian Slot, MD of Seeff Properties on the Atlantic Seaboard and the City Bowl, said obstructed views affected property values.
“If you are going to pay big money on a property that has got a view, it is very important to check your neighbour’s rights before you buy.”
Neighbours are fighting businessman Graeme Lazarus’s proposal for multiple departures to permit the erection of a block of six flats on his property. A detailed objection compiled by town planner Tommy Brummer on behalf of 32 neighbours says the proposed building will block the “views currently enjoyed by surrounding property owners”.
“Significant departures have been applied for from the southeastern common boundary as this departure relates to every level of the building and will have a significant impact on views and sunlight achieved from the properties behind the building, southeast, south and southwest of the property,” the report reads.
“Having a blank façade erected along a single plane for a height of in excess of 20m will be most unsightly from neighbouring properties and will have a negative impact on the built form of the area.”
When it comes to the extra parking — “966% more bays” than what is currently permitted — the report says “Avenue St Leon is so narrow and dangerous that the refuse truck has to reverse up the street every Wednesday as there is not space for it to turn around if it drives to the end of the cul-desac in a forward gear”.
The report further notes: “The socioeconomic impact of the approval of the applications will be substantial and prejudicial.”
In addition they claim that should the development go ahead, their properties would be devalued by up to 30%.
Lazarus refused to discuss the issue but said they had employed town planners and were following all the “requirements governed by the City of Cape Town”.
Judy Dlamini’s plot, after she had the house demolished, and the building under construction on a site registered to the Fugard Theatre.