The City of Cape Town is seeking to unlock R1,5 billion for the Clifton development, including ‘the Maiden’s Cove Urban Park. On 12 March 2016, the City invited tenderers to purchase or lease portions of three City-owned erven in the Clifton and Camps Bay area. The tender has been developed on a public infrastructure investment drive and is expected to see an obligatory investment by the private sector in return for the development opportunities on offer. The upgrades of existing public spaces and facilities in the area are expected to cost R190 million, of which ten per cent of the final cost estimation will be set aside for social housing.
Chairperson for the Camps Bay and Clifton rates payers and Residents Association Chris Willemse, described the public participation within the process as a “sham”, since all the input that was given by the local community was ignored.
Willemse explained that the City did not provide transparency of the plans when the plans were presented to the council, which he asserts is “strange” in a public participation process.
“We have suggestions that would avoid gentrification, [since] it leads to exclusion,” Willemse noted.
He further asserted that individuals who predominantly use Maidens Cove will continue to be excluded from the process, since the process is led by technical teams.
Mayoral committee member for finance for the City of Cape Town, Alderman Ian Neilson, explained that Willemse’s account of the process is not an accurate reflection of “what actually happened.”
He further noted that the council was only requested to investigate whether the land should be “alienated or not”, and was not requested to approve any plans.
The council, Neilson affirmed, did publish plans for the Maidens Cove area in newspapers and public meetings. As a result, he asserts, the plans were amended as directed by the public.
“The amended plan is feely available for anyone who wants to see it,” Neilson explained.
He further noted that it is not accurate to state that the council “hid things” from the community, the council is instead mandated to follow due process.
Neilson furthermore confirmed that area of Maidens Cove will be expanded to increase the size of the public area.
“We will be building boardwalks to make it easier for the public to get access from Camps Bay all the way through to Bantry bay, as well as improve access from Kloof Neck to Camps Bay,” Neilson explained.
The design also requires the successful tenderer to undertake an upgrade and renewal of transport and non-motorised transport infrastructure along Victoria Road at a cost of an estimated R25,5 million, while requiring an estimated R23 million for the establishment of the Bantry Point Caves boardwalk to enhance public access in this rocky area.
An estimated R18 million would also be required for the proposed upgrade of The Glenn forest trail and a walkway along Kloof Road from Victoria Road to Kloof Nek. It is also foreseen that the existing aged Steps leading from Victoria Road down to the beaches at Clifton and Glen Beach require an upgrade to the tune of an estimated R2,5 million. The Glen Country Club and its facilities will be redeveloped as part of the overall development.
He further noted that the roads in the area will be upgraded and an additional 700 parking bays will made available.
“It will be easier for the public to come and enjoy this area since we are trying to create the kind of model of the Green Point Park where people from all over the city visit.”
Neilson furthermore explained that the final estimation of the cost of the land is closer to R800 million.
“We are not going to sell the land for anything less than the proper market value,” Neilson concluded.