Residents in District Six are strongly opposing a proposed private residential development over fears the new property will have a long term detrimental impact on rate payers. The site in question is situated on Chapel Street and has stood empty for over 10 years.
In August, some residents received notices that a development would soon be going up. To the ire of community members, the notice also indicated that the City of Cape Town were seeking to sell the developers a further 319m² of land next to the proposed construction, in the hopes of creating one big property.
Upon the residents objections the City invited all concerned to a site meeting with the new owners. District Six Community Forum chairperson, Asa Salie said that amongst their concerns was the manner in which the City had sought to consult with community members, scheduling the meeting at 10am on a Thursday morning when many residents were still at work.
“Who came with the owners was the developer who is going to develop this monstrosity of a building, which is going to be privately sold.
They showed us the impression of what is going to go up, but you know and I know that when the developer goes in the units are sold already. They don’t go in and still decide if it is going to be sold,” she stated, noting that the cheapest two bedroom unit would likely go for around R1.8 million.
Salie suggested the land the City were seeking to sell was in fact state-owned, and further questioned the rationale behind selling private property when many District Six land restitution beneficiaries were still waiting to return to the area.
“That 319m² could have made a little bit of a dent. I found out that (the reason) the City is selling that to them is because when you submit a plan for something like that, a five storied building, you will have to say where the parking will be. The City actually proposed selling that piece to them so that they can build parking for their units they are going to sell,” she alleged.
Salie referenced the scenario of Bo-Kaap in which rates were pushed up so drastically that residents were effectively pushed out of the area, suspecting a similar situation for residents in District Six.
The City of Cape Town has declined to comment on the matter until due processes have been completed. VOC