Coastal economic imbalances must be tackled

Danny Christians, Ward 79 councillor

It is important that we continuously address the coastal economic imbalances. The re-balance of economic wealth for black coastal communities is critical (“A new vision for Strandfontein,” Plainsman December 19).

For this reason, I call for an exclusive economic zone at all of our nodal points where black communities reside. One of the City’s resolutions (on June 1, 2010) is that we have sovereign rights to all natural resources the coast provides that will support humanity – our economic life.

This community is strongly of the opinion that strong urban and recreational nodal points be established at Strandfontein Pavilion, Blue Waters, Kapteinsklip, Mnandi and Sonwabe.

They should be established to encourage and promote local and international tourism, arts and crafts, and local economic development opportunities for black coastal communities.

Given the socio-economic situation of residents of both Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein, the designation of biodiversity areas of these nodes needs to be reviewed in the interest of the broader transformation agenda, notwithstanding the protection of certain areas of the environment.

All this is within the 392 hectares of coastal land on the False Bay coast, erf 1212, containing our camping sites A, B and C.

It is forecast that even though South Africa has a slower urbanisation rate than the rest of the continent, Cape Town’s population will increase by another 7.8 million by 2030 and a further 6 million by 2050, which will, of course, place immense strain on municipal service delivery. 

This will be exacerbated by the fact that most of these new city residents will be poor.

The importance of developing the Strandfontein nodal point to its fullest potential, which must include our camping sites A, B and C, on 162 hectares, becomes a critical dynamic in the context of Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein as it now holds the opportunity to play multiple roles in terms of sustainable municipal development and exploration of opportunities for social and spatial integration.

A noteworthy conceptual urban design framework for Blue Waters and the beach area was done in 2008 for the City. Similar to this, a conceptual plan was drawn up in the 70s detailing development of the campsites over 20 years.

In the interest of all the people living on the False Bay coastline, I call for further public engagement on the proposed site.