Residents want answers

Faizel Petersen says residents need more information on the proposed development.

The Goodwood Ratepayers and Residents Association say it’s in the dark about the City’s plans permitting the building of “carbon neutral” developments on four pieces of municipal land, including a site near Monte Vista train station.

The City will take part in the second round of the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme, a worldwide competition for carbon-neutral developments with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Cape Town is a signatory to C40, a global network of large cities that is committed to developing and implementing policies to address climate change.

Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said the 7.6-hectare site near Monte Vista train station was near shops and businesses and was underused.

The site was ideal for “mixed-use transit-oriented development” and could include housing for a wide range of income groups, she said.

City spokeswoman Lizel Steenkamp said it would only be clear after the public consultation whether the sites would be sold or leased.

The three other sites are close to the Athlone station car park, Kapteinsklip station precinct in Mitchell’s Plain and Moquet Farm in Diep River.

“Together, these sites comprise approximately 40 hectares of land which could be developed to include a mix of market-related and affordable housing opportunities, commercial space and community services. Also, we want to see proposals that address urban sustainability and include features that will address water and energy conservation,” Ms Nieuwoudt said.

The City says the combined market value of the sites is R316 million.

Ms Nieuwoudt said the City hoped the project would spark urban renewal and job creation.

“The sites are also ideal for higher density housing as they are close to train stations, minibus taxi services and bus stops.”

But Goodwood Ratepayers and Residents Association chairman Faizel Petersen said the City had given the association no details about the project.

“In the recent ratepayers’ meeting, I brought the matter up, and we were advised by councillor Cecil Janse van Rensburg that they will do a full presentation to ward committee, and those members would then report back to us.”

Mr Petersen said he had contacted Ms Nieuwoudt on Friday July 12.

“I invited her to our monthly meeting at the end of July so we could be given more details, but she failed to respond. We have quite a few questions about the impact the development will have on the immediate residents around the proposed site. They need to consider the impact this development will have on traffic especially around access routes into the area.

We want to know what additional services will be put in place in terms of policing resources, law enforcement and health services, as the site will be attracting an additional 5 000 people into the area. We as residents, are already battling to cope with the staff shortages at SAPS, traffic congestion and an efficient commuter service.”

Asked how the proposed development might benefit the area, Mr Petersen said: “It is very unclear if any benefit will be brought to the community, as no details were provided to us by the City of Cape Town.”

Ms Janse van Rensburg said the site near the train station was “underutilised”. She added: “I understand that change can often be an intimidating concept, and as such, the affected community may express reservations.”

The public has until Sunday September 8 to comment on the City’s proposal.

“It is the view of the City that should the area be made available to development, it must be to the benefit of the residents in the immediate vicinity as well as that of the wider community,” Ms Janse van Rensburg said, adding that if the plan went ahead, “we should see creative proposals to renew and rejuvenate the area to ultimately stimulate economic growth”.

Visit www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay to comment on the proposed project.