The Princess Vlei community lost a great stalwart with the passing of Dr Graham Noble in July. Graham was passionate about the environment, and about civic participation.
Graham was a long standing member of the GCTCA, serving as treasurer and secretary at different times. He has spent many years in a spirited engagement with the City about community issues. When the Princess Vlei was threatened by the destructive development of a shopping mall on its banks, the GCTCA was one of the leading organisations to take up the struggle against the City, and Graham didn't hesitate to step in.
Graham spent long hours gathering information and documents from the City, and was one of the main mobilisers of the early resistance to the mall. Thanks to his efforts and that of other community members, the City's Spatial Development and Land Use Management committee turned down the bid to develop the shopping mall. This decision was then overturned by the provincial Department of Environment, and the community and concerned organisations came together again to form the Princess Vlei Forum. Graham was one of the founding members of the Forum, and was very active in the campaign that followed. His meticulous attention to detail, and persistence in tracking documents, enabled the collection of critical evidence regarding the shopping mall bid, which helped to uncover some serious irregularities and possible fraud. This formed the basis for a case laid by the Forum with the Public Protector, and later for the case laid by Kelvin Cochran with the Hawks. The Forum was building a case against the City, when the City agreed to scrap the mall development. There is no doubt that Graham's dedication played an important part in this community victory.
In addition to his work on Princess Vlei, Graham was chairperson of the Scarborough Ratepayers Association, and very active in promoting a harmonious relationship between the human and wild animal community in that area. This included active efforts to save the baboons from extermination and injury by irate residents.
The Forum will sorely miss Graham's contributions to the organisation. We would like to pass sincere condolences to his wife and family.