Follow-up summit re-examines vision

Danny Ras, chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Peoples Forum, jots down a resolution, while Portland residents Nawahlodien Panday and Kamaledien Parker look on.

Mitchell’s Plain businesses are working towards making the area the single largest contributor to the Western Cape’s gross geographic product (GGP) by 2026.

The goal was revealed at the follow-up to the “Re-Imagining Mitchell’s Plain Summit” held almost three months ago, with a presentation described as a “re-introduction to Mitchell’s Plain” on Saturday February 9 at the sub-council office, in Lentegeur.

Organisers, Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) and the Development Action Group (DAG), collaborated to refine resolutions and develop action plans noted on Saturday November 17.

The weekend’s meeting focused on safety and security, local economic development and land or housing.

Norman Jantjes, chairman of Mura, which represents 14 organisations, said they rallied to have residents’ voices heard so that they could play a part in re-imagining the future of Mitchell’s Plain and putting plans into action.

Sean Achim, chairman and chief executive officer of Plein Chamber, led the presentation, highlighting Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha’s contribution to the economy and its potential.

According to his data, the “Khaya/Plain” area generated a gross geographic product (GGP) of R55 569 January to December 2016.

The province contributes 14% to the country’s GDP and of that, Cape Town’s share is more than a quarter.

Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha contribute 15.76 percent to the city’s GGP, and 28.836% to that of the Western Cape.

Based on these figures Mr Achim motivated for the creation of the Good Hope 2076 project, which he described as “a vision that is so big that it is guaranteed to outlast the lives of its custodians”.

The year 2076 marks Mitchell’s Plain’s centenary, by which time Mr Achim hopes the area will be a thriving commercial district business hubs, office parks and an entertainment and cultural centre.

He plotted that the vision for 2026, when Mitchell’s Plain will mark its 50th anniversary vision, included a 20% drop in poverty, unemployment, gang and drug related crime; that 5% of the area’s GGP, would be derived from tourism, while growing the rest of the economy by 7.5%; the creation of 5 000 new jobs; and the establishment of a fresh fruit and vegetable market, in partnership with the Epping Market, Western Cape Growers and local Hawkers’ associations.