There was a strong sense of optimism at the Annual General Meeting of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) held on Tuesday night.

The MID board showed how it has systematically engaged authorities to tackle the eyesore of derelict and overcrowded buildings. Since the appointment of a new MID cleaning contractor (NCC), the village is cleaner and owners feel more confident about the future of Muizenberg. As a result owners are renovating their homes and property values are rising. The MID has obtained permission from the City’s Road Department to do a much needed upgrade of the beachfront traffic circle and work on this will commence in 2015. The redevelopment of the now vibrant Muizenberg Beachfront has played a pivotal role in shaking off the seedy image of the past and the growth of surfing schools is attracting a constant flow of visitors. In fact Muizenberg was recently named one of the 20 Best Surfing Towns in the world by National Geographic Adventure.

Roxy Davis, owner of Surf Emporium and seven times South African Surf Champion said:

We’ve seen an incredible transformation of the Muizenberg Beach front over the past few years. It has really cleaned up! “

Tony Smith, Chair of the MID, said that the board members were working together in a cohesive, focused way and the new five year business plan has provided a clear way forward. Board members are expected to actively deliver on this mandate through collaboration with business and property owners, community organisations, with law enforcement agencies and with city departments like solid waste, health, safety, and fire. This is not without its challenges as Muizenberg does not always get the attention it merits from City and Government decision makers and officials.

The MID is very conscious of the importance Muizenberg’s appearance brings to safety and security. Vagrancy, crime and bin picking combine to undermine this concern. This is why the MID spends the bulk of its funding on mitigating crime and grime. Innovative approaches to greening and cleaning are making a visible difference. However, Smith said that achieving closer collaboration between all security organisations within Muizenberg has proved much more difficult than anticipated. The government police agencies lack commitment and resources. Private security companies do not have any confidence in the police and focus on doing just enough to satisfy their clients. The Neighbourhood Watch and the Community Policing Forum are critical for mobilising community resources but both are dysfunctional due to lack of community support. In this disparate environment, the Muizenberg community suffer the consequences.

Despite these weaknesses, Smith was pleased to report that beachfront businesses have contributed to funding the Rent-a-Cop service on the beachfront. The network of MID surveillance cameras has been upgraded and more strategically positioned. Local property owner, Aloy Gowne has stepped into the MID Public Safety & Security portfolio. He will lead the implementation of the security management plan as set out in the new five year business plan.

The discussion by members at the AGM centred on concerns about vagrancy, lack of accountability from PRASA to better secure the railway line, constant problem of high sided vehicles getting stuck under the bridge and the insufficient parking in the Village. Councillor D’Alton took note of the members comments for further follow up.

Smith commended MID Director Marion Wagner for her ongoing work with the City and NPOs. to seek workable solutions to the plight of the long term homeless of Muizenberg and successfully relocating them. He congratulated her for the recent certificate of acknowledgement she received from the City in this respect. Smith reported on the success of involving homeless people in weekend cleaning initiatives which give them a sense of dignity as reflected in this quote by one of the homeless cleaning team members:

I used to be a nameless face under the bridge, but now people recognise me and greet me. They can now see that I am willing to work and that I don’t just depend on hand-outs. I would rather work and I hope that others will also see that I am responsible and also employ me so that I can get off the streets and live a better life”.

The MID Board received a vote of confidence from members for their much improved performance over the past year. Tony Smith assured the meeting that the directors would continue work as a cohesive team, engage with residents and mobilise combined resources. All property owners are encouraged to become members of MID.

Issued by Lesley Schroeder, Stakeholder Engagement Director, MID


About MID:

The Muizenberg Improvement District [MID] is a geographic area where property owners have contracted to pay a levy to facilitate a joint effort by the City of Cape Town and the local community to ensure more effective management of public areas and promote economic growth and sustainable development.

The MID supplements normal municipal services provided by the City, using its funds to deal with crime and grime, enhance the environment and address social issues like vagrancy and finding workable solutions for the homeless. The Muizenberg Improvement District is a legal entity established under the City’s Special Rating Areas by-law and also governed by the South African Companies Act 2008. Website:

Enquiries: Chevone Petersen  Tel: 021 788 1196 Cell: 082 463 1525