Heritage square upgrades

Rob Stampe, Durbanville

I read with dismay the leader about the R10 million upgrade and the associated works (“Boost for heritage square,” Northern News, September 21).

I have seven points to table for discussion:

Having been in the building trade for 45 years as a quantity surveyor and later as a contractor, I feel the R10 million is way over the top – is there a municipal SCOPA to review the cost?

The time taken was extremely slow (presumably for a grand opening on Heritage Day) and this would attract additional supervision costs (called P&G ) – more waste.

Then the surprising “oh, we’ll add a coffee shop as there is an under supply of niche coffee shops” – there are five opposite the square.

Where is the parking for this structure? – I’ve been involved with the construction of shopping centres and industrial units, and the City of Cape Town demands huge amounts of parking.

I find the provision of new grass and plantings extremely inappropriate during our water crisis.

If there is a non-potable water supply, where are the signs?

They were watering on Friday September 22 at 9.30am – totally unacceptable

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, responds:

Shared public spaces are important for our city and its residents. The tender amount was 5% lower than the consulting engineers’ estimated construction cost and was considered reasonable when compared with the estimate and other tendered prices received. A further due diligence report was undertaken by Moore Stephens.

The contract was completed beyond the anticipated completion date and the contractor was penalised in terms of the contract document.

Sufficient parking is available along Pampoenkraal Lane and behind the Spur restaurant. This parking design proposal was presented to the public during the public participation process and was fully supported.

All soft landscaping is being irrigated using non-potable groundwater in terms of the City’s current water restrictions. The signs are currently being manufactured and will be installed as soon as they are ready.

The system is set up to only irrigate at night. This will therefore be looked into.

Stuart Diamond, mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management responds:

The property management department was requested by Sub-council 7 to undertake a financial feasibility study to determine whether there is a market demand for the creation of a coffee shop on the site. The outcome of the feasibility study concluded that such a demand for a coffee shop does exist within the context of the surrounding area, even after consideration was given to competition from other coffee shops in the area.