There are concerns that the City of Cape Town’s planned redevelopment of Maidens Cove near Camps Bay and Clifton, which is already facing stern opposition from residents, could have dire consequences for the kramats situated in the area. The area is a popular destination amongst Capetonians and the City is hoping to cash in through several proposed developments.
The developments, should they go ahead, will include a 750 car underground parking garage as well as accompanying new shopping facility. The plans also include provisions for the construction of more bungalows near Clifton, as well establishing a clearer more accessible route towards the ocean. The more concerning factor however has been that the City plans to tender for developers to take the project forwar.
Four kramats are situated within the vicinity.
While unaware of the extent of the redevelopment, the chairperson of the Cape Mazaar Society, Mahmood Limbada noted that such holy sites were often “in tune with nature” in terms of where they were situated. This meant that if the development extended to the point of affecting the natural environment, in this case the mountain area, the kramats could well come under threat.
However he was reluctant to jump the gun without studying the city’s plans first.
He did however allude to a similar situation in Oudekraal, where plans were at one point afoot to “exhume the body of the auliya” buried at the kramat and have it move.
“They approached us in many different ways. They tried to offer us monetary benefits and so forth. We didn’t buy into that and we took it to the public and the MJC and organised a huge gathering at Sheikh Noorul Mubeen on Camps Bay Drive,” he noted, adding that while the City Council had given the go ahead for the development, it eventually bowed to public pressure and shelved the plans.
He added that if the need arose with regards to the Camps Bay development, the society would be ready to conduct something similar.
Environment and traffic assessments are still to take place, with the City of Cape Town still in the planning phase of the redevelopment. The City has also yet to seek approval from Heritage Western Cape over the project. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)