False Bay TVET College and church sign partnership

Executive members of False Bay TVET College and the Seaview Baptist Church at the signing.
Karin Hendricks, principal of False Bay TVET College and Pastor Ashley Lengeveldt of Seaview Baptist Church touch elbows in celebration of the lease signing.

A long-term lease agreement between False Bay TVET College and the Seaview Baptist Church was officially concluded on Tuesday May 11 for the partial use of the college’s new Mitchell’s Plain campus site.

Seaview Baptist Church will lease the north-eastern corner of Erf 48076 of the proposed Mitchell’s Plain campus site in Bay View, which will be developed in 2022.

In 2018, Naledi Pandor, the then Minister of Higher Education and Training, committed to building a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college in Mitchell’s Plain, (“Minister promises college”, Plainsman, June 13, 2018).

Ms Pandor announced in 2019 that the R386 million world-class facility, would serve Mitchell’s Plain and the surrounding communities and be built on the corner of Spine and Seafarer roads, Bay View, in 2019, (“R386 million for ‘Plain”, Plainsman, April 10, 2019).

Preparations for the development of the Mitchell’s Plain campus of False Bay TVET College were under way after council approved the transfer of the erf in Bay View, Strandfontein, (“Transfer of land for college approved”, Plainsman, June 17, 2020).

With the assistance of the City of Cape Town, the college identified a suitable site for the construction of the new campus being erf 48076 and erf 44005 previously consolidated, Mitchell’s Plain, and commenced with negotiations on the cost of disposal. The area of erf 48076 is 6.5 hectares and the zoning is community 2, which can accommodate the development of the campus without a rezoning application, said Christiana Nel, deputy principal for innovation and development for False Bay TVET College.

A condition of the sale agreement between the City of Cape Town and False Bay College was the requirement to enter into a long-term lease agreement with the Seaview Baptist Church, which has been accommodated on-site in a temporary structure, a tent, on the north-eastern corner of the site for numerous years, she said.

Given the public interest in developing a TVET campus in Mitchell’s Plain, the City of Cape Town Council agreed to dispose of the property at a discount of 90% of the commercial value and the property transfer process was initiated, which culminated in the college taking transfer of the property on Thursday February 18, this year.

After following prescribed tender processes, the college has appointed a firm of architects to lead the design and development process.

The tender bid for the appointment of consulting engineering services has been advertised and closed on Monday May 17, she said.

Kuhle Solutions and Development Services has been appointed as the social facilitator service provider as of Wednesday April 28, with the primary objective of facilitating communication between the college, community stakeholders and the contractors.

As far as the construction of the campus is concerned, the consulting engineers will be appointed by the end of July and it is envisaged that the construction of the campus will commence in May 2022, said Ms Nel.

False Bay TVET College has had a presence in the Mitchell’s Plain area for the past 15 years, offering funded post-matric business studies programmes to the youth of the surrounding communities.

During this time, the college has relied on temporary accommodation in schools such as Spine Road High School in Rocklands and Buckingham Primary School in Portland.

The construction of the Mitchell’s Plain campus gives life to a long-held dream to develop a state-of-the-art campus for surrounding communities and the college management looks forward to the development process in consultation with stakeholders.

Seaview Baptist Church pastor Ashley Lengeveldt said they are very excited about the partnership with the college.

“We are very excited for what the future holds for our church. We exist to foster and reinforce good morals and values in our society and it’s important to have the proper resources to do so. To this extent we are very happy that the college has partnered with us for the upliftment and the development of our community,“ he said.

They have been on the field in a tent for many years. “This will bring permanence, affording us the opportunity to also host the community as we are a community-oriented church,” he said.

Sub-council 23 chairperson Elton Jansen was not present at the signing but he was delighted that they have finally concluded an agreement which suits both parties and said he is excited about the construction of a state-of-the-art college in Bay View.

“The site was always a problem with overgrown vegetation, dumping and muggings especially during dark winter days. It was therefore the first site that came to mind when I was contacted to take the officials of False Bay college around to find a suitable site for the college,” said Mr Jansen.

He supported the sale of the land on condition that the college engage with the church who have been on a section of the property for years. He has done his part to facilitate the initial meetings and was present at those initial meetings but left further engagements to the church and the college.

On Friday April 30 they had their first workshop with local businesses in Ward 43 who registered on the Sub-council 23 database, said Mr Jansen.

“I want to encourage local businesses in Ward 43 and Sub-council 23 to register their business to be included in future engagements with the social facilitator and contractors,” said Mr Jansen.

James Vos, the mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, said having a facility within Mitchell’s Plain is required more than ever to train young people in vital skills to reduce poverty, inequality, to grow the economy and boost employment through scarce and critical-skills training and innovation programmes.

From a socio-economic perspective, this transfer demonstrates the City’s commitment to the Integrated Development Plan, he said.

“Through this land release we have prioritised and leveraged the City’s assets to drive economic growth and sustainable development. Education, scarce critical-skills training and innovation programs remain the strongest antidote in their fight to reduce inequalities, grow the economy and cut unemployment.

“It is deeply reassuring for me, in this time of dire need for all spheres of government to pull together, this legacy property transaction shows the benefit of inter-governmental co-operative governance,” said Mr Vos.

Through smart real estate transactions, the City has the opportunity to make a real contribution towards the economic recovery, putting their assets to good use, and into the hands of those who will benefit the most, he said.

“We intend to continue a pipeline of land transactions that make business and socio-economic sense. The City of Cape Town Council approval was required to make the land available at a reduced cost for the purposes of education and community use to establish a fully-fledged TVET college campus to service Mitchell’s Plain, Strandfontein and surrounding communities. I am happy to see that this development can now enter the next phase,” said Mr Vos.