New court in the pipeline

Police officers take some known suspects for finger printing.

There are plans to build a new court in Goodwood, but officials are tight-lipped about exactly where.

Northern News learnt of the plans through a resident, who said the new court would be built in De Wet Street, Goodwood, and would also see the Parow Regional Court relocated there.

The resident said they’re under strict instruction from the national Department of Public Works (DPW) not to talk about the development, although a handful of residents had apparently already received some money from the department as part of the deal, which would see the DPW buy a row of houses behind the old Shoprite building on the corner of Voortrekker Road and De Wet Street.

The homes would be demolished to make way for the court building.

In De Wet Street, one property owner confirmed the DPW had approached him two years ago. He had opted not to sell because the offer had not been sufficient.

He declined to comment further.

However, the DPW, which procures accommodation for government departments, said it, together with the Department of Justice, was “exploring the viability of building a new court on the existing site”.

This raises questions about whether the plan for De Wet Street is still on the table.

The Voortrekker Road building that houses the Goodwood Magistrate’s court belongs to the City of Cape Town and is next to the Goodwood municipal office, where Sub-council 3 is based.

Northern News understands plans for a new court have been in the pipeline for many years.

Asked about De Wet Street, DPW spokesperson Thami Mchunu said: “I don’t know who told you that, as our response to you is quite straight-forward.”

But if the DPW’s plans are to build the new court on the existing site and not De Wet Street, as Mr Mchunu suggests, it hasn’t told the City about them, according to Johan van der Merwe, environmental affairs and spatial planning mayoral committee member.

Asked if there are plans to sell this building to DPW, he said: “The City has not received a formal request from DPW in this regard, therefore there are no such plans that we are aware of.”

Also, no plans had been submitted for a new court; nor had the DPW discussed using other sites in Goodwood with the City.

The City of Cape Town also owns the building where Parow Magistrate’s Court is based.

Mr Mchunu said Parow had been separated from Goodwood because of space constraints.

“In the planning and designing of a new facility, the courts will be merged,” he said.

In March last year, a tender was issued by the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA) Cres (Corporate Real Estate Solutions) in which it called for proposals for professional services (project manager, architect, economist, town planner, engineers, and health and safety practitioners) for the “design and execution of the new Goodwood Magistrate’s Court”.

But on the tender publishing site Lead 2Business, the tender was last updated in May this year, when its status was listed as cancelled.

Regional manager for Prasa Cres, Lindelo Matya, said they were involved because the court was to have been be built on Prasa land, opposite the existing court on Voortrekker Road.

He confirmed the tender was cancelled.

“We are still in discussion with DPW in respect of this project,” said Mr Matya.