Hanover Park may soon see massive facelift, if the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Urban Renewal Project takes off. Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille launched the upgrade plan on Thursday. The project aims to not only make the gang infested area safer but also developmental upgrades to parks, roads and rental housing units.
De Lille was joined by councillors, the Hanover Park Steering Committee and members of the community as the long awaited project was announced at the Hanover Park Library. De Lille told media and residents that R80 million has already been invested on safety and stabilisation initiatives in Hanover Park in order to make further upgrades to the area possible.
“City facilities are there to be shared by everyone. The requests from residents will guide the investment that the city is going to put in our budget and take us forward in our plan for Hanover Park. We said that we must put in a public investment framework. We will be prioritising the needs of the community,” De Lille explained.
Some of the issues raised by the community include the need to establish safer routes between homes, schools and public transport points.
Hanover Park is one of several areas throughout the city experiencing excessive levels of gang-related crime, with 44 fatal shootings the past year. Meanwhile, the project will also focus on dismantling the spatial legacy of apartheid neighbourhood and reconnect Hanover Park to the broader city.
“We will be going door-to-door to ensure every single household is aware about what we have done for the past four years and what we intend to do for the community.
No thumb-sucking. The community will hold the city to account. We are here to serve the people,” De Lille told residents
Community activist Elizabeth Bantam told VOC News that the she was impressed with the Mayor’s project.
“We have been waiting for this for eight years. I am very happy that we have finally received the properties to our rental homes. I am happy for the much needed changes here,” Bantam said.
Riedwaan Anthony, head of the Hanover Park Steering Committee also addressed residents. Anthony shared his excitement for the project, which he said comes after many years of hard work.
“We intend to work closely with the City. We thank you for bringing investment plans to the community. As the leadership of this community, we will hold this project close to our heart and ensure it puts Hanover Park where it belongs and that is on top,” Anthony continued.
The City and Hanover Park residents’ collective vision for the area also include; to occupy all open spaces positively and identify opportunities for infill housing; to build new institutions of hope to revive the historical community structures with the intentions of aiding social change and creating an environment for economic development; to redevelop the urban node to catalyst investment and provide institutional upliftment. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)