In March last year, Cape Town’s deputy Mayor Ian Neilson announced the City of Cape Town had scrapped the plans to build a mall in the Princess Vlei area. The City has since agreed that they would not sell the land and will be guided by the community on the future of area. The Princess Vlei Forum in conjunction with the City is now calling on the community to join them for an open day on Thursday 20th August to enable members of the public to view the plan and comment on it for finalization.
“We campaigned successfully against the building of shopping mall in the area and presented the City with a collection of vision for Princess Vlei that we have gathered from the community,” said Bridget Pitt, secretary of The Princess Vlei Forum. “
The City has since completed a Draft Concept Development Framework for the area as to how it could be developed, based on what the community of Princess Vlei envisions for the land.
“The Princess Vlei Forum has been motivated by important objectives which includes ensuring that the Vlei is developed and protected as a site celebrating nature and heritage. We campaigned not only to have a vision for the Vlei but also to make sure that the community is consulted in every step along the way. It is very important that we stand together for a better community and environment.”
A mandate was first given to a developer by a previous council in 1999 to pursue the rezoning of a portion of the land next to Princess Vlei. The rezoning was achieved, lapsed and was later reinstated.
“Now, 15 years later, it is evident that the idea of a shopping centre on the land is inappropriate. Our own valuation of the social value of the land surrounding Princess Vlei and its potential for enhanced social benefits has led us to the conclusion that a different vision is required for the land: a vision that we look forward to developing with our residents,” said Nielson.
The organisation was initiated by the Lotus River and Grassy Park Civic Association, and other concerned community organisations to protect the Vlei from commercial development.
“Every year we have a meeting and invite the community to vote for individuals to stand for executive. We have a number of concerned individuals and organisations by our side and has grown tremendously since establishment in 2012,” she said.
“The youth are very actively involved in saving Princess Vlei and there are many strong ideas coming from them as to what they want for the area. We therefore work closely youth and schools in and around the area…”
The Open Day will take place at the Retreat Civic Centre from 4pm- 8pm followed by a Princess Vlei Forum General Meeting to discuss the plan in depth on Thursday, 27th August from 6pm to 9pm at the LOFOB Hall (Corner of Klip rd and First Rd, Grassy Park). For more info please contact Bridget Pitt on 0216832242 or 082 462 1308.VOC (Aishah Cassiem)