Bellville touted as ‘smart city’

Kruskal Avenue upgrades are expected to start in April.

Several key developments are set to regenerate the greater Bellville area, the Sub-council 6 meeting heard last week.

Sub-council chairwoman Rose Rau told the meeting on Wednesday August 16 that the multi-million rand Albany Bakery development in Bellville South, the Glenhaven housing project, upgrades planned for Kruskal Avenue and Elizabeth Park, and the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District’s five-year business plan would all have positive spin-offs.

Ms Rau said the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) Unlock our Urban Future conference in June had been attended by entrepreneurs, property owners, business people, academics and innovators.

It had convinced her that Bellville could become Africa’s first smart city – “ a city that uses technology to connect, improve and modernise infrastructure, services and facilities to create a better life for those who live and work in it”.

The Glenhaven project will have about 1 000 homes, including market-related gap housing, market-related rentals and social housing rentals.

Contractors are expected to be on site for the Kruskal Avenue upgrade by April next year (“Upgrades planned for Kruskal Avenue,” Northern News, March 2). “This project will cut through the decay of the Bellville CBD to provide a busier and safer area for our pedestrians,” said Ms Rau.

In the next five years, the VRCID plans to install CCTV cameras within the Vootrekker Road corridor and have a complement of 25 safety officers posted at all times and with access to three mobile command points, five patrol vehicles and a radio network that is linked to a control centre with a dedicated phone number.

* Ward 3 councillor Brendan van der Merwe tabled a motion previously, calling for a review of seven vacant City-owned houses in Oakdale (“Calls for review of council homes,” Northern News, May 25), but the meeting last week heard that the report was still outstanding.

* Pieter Strumpher, from the City’s property management department, meanwhile, responded to another previous motion by Mr Van der Merwe. Pointing to a lack of residential parking in Groenvallei, the councillor had called for a study to find land suitable for more parking or development.

Mr Van der Merwe said the area had been developed without giving residents direct access to their homes or on-street parking.

“If there are 10 people a home, neighbours are faced with a situation where there is simply no parking,” he said.

According to a property management report before sub-council, there are 14 larger portions of land that will be put up for sale to the public and other smaller pockets of land which can be sold directly to adjacent land owners.

* The sub-council supported several liquor-licence applications and extension-of-liquor-trading-hours applications, including: Sentra, Oakdale; Liquor King, Bellville; Tops Old Oak, Oakglen; Danskraal, Bellville and Tesco Liquors, Bellville.

Ward 10 councillor Jacoline Visser said they had been several objections to the liquor licence application from the Downtown Cocktail Lounge, at Bellville’s Middestad Mall, but they could not decline it as no valid reasons had been given for them to do so.

“While we received a lot of objections, they did not make any specific reference to the application in question and were more of a general nature.”

Objections cited noise and nuisance, insufficient parking, the large number of liquor outlets in the area and uncertainty over the trading hours.

Ms Visser asked residents making objections to be specific, report problems, get case numbers and keep a paper trail.

Ward 2 councillor Leonore Van Der Walt asked that the liquor licence application for off-premises consumption by De Tijger Enjoy be referred back. The applicant had applied in 2016 and received 162 objections, with 13 objections received this time, citing the number of liquor outlets already in the area, the high number of homeless people, proximity to schools and churches and the impact on parking.

Ms Van der Walt said it was important to note that each application counted as a new one.