No show for M’Plain planning meetings

City of Cape Town Spatial planning officials Songezo Ndaba, Lyndon Pillay, Wolfgat subcouncil administrators Keenan Williams, Liesl O’Malley and Florence Olaine. In front are subcouncil manager Johnson Fetu, an administrator officer Michaela Williams and Dominic Stanford, from spatial planning.

Mitchell’s Plain residents missed three of the City of Cape Town’s public meetings to discuss its spatial vision and development priorities for the area.

On Monday April 26, the only people present were City officials, five of them from the Wolfgat Sub-council office and three from the District’s Urban Planning and Design Spatial Planning and Environment department.

Last Thursday, April 22 residents, from Sub-council 23, missed their meeting at 10am and another, advertised in the Plainsman, at 7pm.

Wolfgat Sub-council manager Johnson Fetu said he had proposed two meetings to ensure residents could attend in Woodlands, Rocklands and its surrounding areas.

He said invitations had been sent via email and text message to all organisations registered on the sub-council’s database.

“Anyone who claims they did not receive an invitation should ensure their contact details are updated,” he said.

Professional officer Songezo Ndaba, from the City’s spatial planning department, said about 20 residents attended the Wolfgat meeting on Tuesday April 20.

He said generally residents across the City reluctantly attended these meetings.

Mr Ndaba said the recent sessions were a follow up to engagements held in 2019 to discuss plans and challenges raised by residents.

Since then they have been developing a concept to respond to what the residents had asked.

“You voice all of your concerns, which we put altogether and we rank them,” he said.

These processes are reviewed and fit into the City’s five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

The draft integrated district spatial development framework and environmental Environmental Management Frameworks (EMFs); district planning and mechanisms for Mitchell’s Plain are discussed in a presentation followed by a question and answer session.

According to the presentation, “The document outlines the future end state, what we envisaged for the area, working together with the community in terms of what we want to see or achieve in the next years to come.”

It is also used to motivate budget allocations and lists potential new developments such as commercial spaces, job creation activities, housing opportunities and community facilities.

Mitchell’s Plain forms part of Sub-District 2, which includes Colorado Park, Weltevreden Valley, Woodlands, Beacon Valley, Lentegeur, Eastridge, Westridge, Portland, Rocklands and Tafelsig and was developed largely as a response to the housing issues of the 1970s.

“The sub-district’s planning was strongly influenced by the political ideologies of the time and standards-based planning and engineering practices, which is evident from the wide roads and surfeit of open spaces,” the City’s overview says.

Proposals for the use of spaces in the area have been conceptualised to encourage small-scale economic enterprises along Merrydale Avenue, AZ Berman Drive and portions of Spine Road in a way that created pedestrian-friendly areas..

The plan emphasises that principles of crime prevention should be incorporated through the design planning processes.

The City also wants to encourage non-motorised transport and improve pedestrian links, by planting trees and providing street furniture, from the station to the core facilities.

Also in the plan is the development of multi-functional public facilities and supporting the establishment of small business operations within the residential area, where appropriate and where they promote diversity of uses within walking range.

These include street trading, house shops, hair salons, restaurants, mechanical and appliance repair shops, business services, tailoring, shoe shops, car washed, entertainment and butcheries.

Other priorities include the development of the Kapteinsklip station precinct and improving access to the coast.

Proposals for the station precinct include multi-storey mixed use buildings, and medium- to high density infill developments to “reinforce the urban node with the provision made for public facilities close to the station”.

To support the proposals, an implementation plan will be devised to guide prioritised public investment, local area and precinct planning priorities and to highlight which mechanisms would help enable the implementation of the proposals in the spatial development frameworks and sub-district plans.

When commenting on the proposals, residents should consider whether the plan has covered all areas of concern; how the document could be improved; and which areas need more detailed planning.

The framework for Sub-district 4, which includes Philippi Horticultural, a portion of which is in Ward 75, with Colorado Park, proposes the construction of new urban development, including medium to high density residential development coupled with some commercial development.

“All new development between the proposed R300 interchange and proposed Highlands Drive extension is to be restricted to either residential development or to industrial development,” read the draft.

Next month virtual meetings will be held to discuss the proposals for the different districts.

An online presentation and engagement session about the Khayelitsha/Mitchell’s Plain Greater Blue Downs Area (KMPGBA) integrated district SDF and EMF will be held Monday May 10, from 6pm until 8pm.

Documents for each district can be found on the City’s website.

Community members have the right to comment on and provide suggestions to all of these proposals. The deadline is June 6 and comments can be emailed to district.sdf@capetown.gov.za or submitted online at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay.