Support for Strandfontein residential development

Pictured from left, clockwise, Youth Fishing Academy’s Errol Adams, Infinity Environmental assessment practitioner Tarryn Solomon, fisherman Hari Ramblass, 76, from Strandfontein, and City of Cape Town urban planning and design official Guillaume Nell.

Sonwabe Fishing and Tourism Front (SFTF) management team member and founder of Strandfontein Agricultural, Aqua Marine and Boating Association (SAAMBA) Igshaan Carstens; South African Network of Women in Transport Moira Krige; and Sonwabe Fishing co-operative interim vice chair Valerie Arendse look Strandfontein coastal development plans. With them at the back, from left are L&C Community Outreach Programme director Luce-Lynn Fondling.

More than 60 people attended the City of Cape Town’s open day to discuss the proposed residential and public realm improvements in Strandfontein.

The plan, including nodal development on the remainder of Farm 1212, located on Strandfontein Road and Baden Powell Drive, was up for discussion at the local community hall on Wednesday November 22.

The Plainsman met up with pensioner and great-grandfather Hari Ramblass, 76, from Strandfontein, who said he moved into the area in 1993 in the hope of fishing on his doorstep.

Instead he has had to go fish outside of the area because of a lack access to the fishing area which are either cordoned off or unsafe.

“It is my humble plea to be able to fish close to home; to park close to where I fish and for the City to clear access roads to the beach,” he said.

Lukannon Drive, in Strandfontein, is often covered with sand and impassable.

Other residents at the hall, who did not want to be named, were sceptical about whether the local economy and residents would benefit from the development.

“They’re going to get big companies in here and they are going to take the money out,” said a woman.

Sonwabe Fishing and Tourism Front (SFTF) management team member and founder of Strandfontein Agricultural, Aqua Marine and Boating Association (SAAMBA) Igshaan Carstens; South African Network of Women in Transport Moira Krige; Sonwabe Fishing co-operative interim vice chair Valerie Arendse look Strandfontein coastal development plans; and Community Outreach Programme director Luce-Lynn Fondling said they only came to look and hear what the plans were.

“We will discuss it amongst ourselves before tabling any comments,” said Ms Krige.

Deputy mayor and Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said general feedback was of support for the the mixed-use residential proposal and public realm improvements.

“Some residents raised concerns about coastal access, and some access routes not being maintained. This is outside the scope of this project and falls outside the site boundaries.

“Other concerns related to the impact the project may have on traffic on the existing road network and that the proposed development would add to already congested traffic within Strandfontein. The need for road upgrades to accommodate additional traffic was mentioned,” he said..

Mr Andrews said the proposed development brought economic opportunities and job creation opportunities.

Nine written submissions were received on the day.

The City, through an independent environmental consultant, is now undertaking an environmental impact assessment related to the proposed development.

The National Environmental Management Act requires an environmental impact assessment for this coastal site, given that the proposed development falls within 100m of the high water mark and clearing of indigenous vegetation.

Comments on this projects are due by Thursday December 14. In addition, residents and interested and affected parties can register with the environmental consultant for regular updates by sending an email to comments@infinityenv.co.za or sending a WhatsApp message to 060 524 7676.

A background information document is also available online at www.infinityenv.co.za/strandfontein. This document outlines what is being proposed, the site boundaries, and the next steps in detail.

Once the public participation process has been concluded, a consultant will prepare a pre-application Basic Assessment Report (BAR)– the public will be offered another opportunity to comment on the BAR, and once done, the BAR will be submitted to the Western Cape Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) for the necessary environmental approvals. These will include specialist studies comprising heritage, environmental, engineering, and other information that may be needed for the DEA&DP to make an informed decision.

The provisional timeline for these processes are January to June 2024.

Mr Andrews said there would be ample opportunities, including the current public participation process, for residents to submit comments and contribute to this important process.