Cape Town’s “Built Environment Performance Plan (2017/18)” – Erf 1117 silence.

I used the opportunity of the debate on this plan to raise the issue of Erf 1117 in Table View. The City and the WC Provincial Government have contradicted each other and openly accused members of the public of falsifying City documents. All this to avoid confirming its plans for this substantial piece of land.

The ACDP notes the Built Environment Performance Plan, and largely supports it, specifically we note references to the fact that it has evolved over the past 3 years.

We note with interest and concern that during its 3 year evolution, ERF 1117 in the Bloubergstrand area has pretty much fallen off the BEPP – as if it doesn’t exist.

Yet reports from the local community confirm that the unlawful occupiers of a portion of that erf remain there to this day.

What is of great interest to the ACDP is that this piece of land was, for many years until last year, consistently referred to in various City and WCG documents, including the BEPP of 2014/15:

The Blaauwberg District Plans of 2009, 2011 and 2012 state that this erf is suitable for ‘medium density residential and mixed use development…with low density bordering the BCA’;

And that it represents ‘A significant opportunity to meet biodiversity requirements and contribute to housing and public facility needs’

The Final Draft of the 2012 this same BDP called erf 1117 ‘a strategic piece of land …that could resolve a number of public objectives particularly public housing’, going on to say that it is ‘an example of inclusionary housing potentially through cross-subsidisation initiatives, with ‘5,000 mixed-use residential dwelling units’

The City’s 2012 SDF called it a ‘strategic state-owned site’

And the City’s BEPP of 2014/15 said this land is “part of the City’s long term land banking programme’, part of the City’s high level land purchasing agenda’ while Du noon / Tableview is described as a ‘major problem zone’ with ERF 1117 described as the ‘linked land solution’.

While in the Western Cape Governments ‘Informal Settlements Status’ presentation (Nov 2013), Erf 1117 is described as ‘a capital programme for new housing, of some 13,880 dwelling units’, with the progress being noted as ‘valuated, and development plan submitted to DPW, await Minister approval.’

From all these documents, it is clear that all 3 spheres of government were at an advanced stage of determining the future of the land parcel and crucially, the future of the illegal occupiers.

In a question to the Mayor in October 2015, the ACDP asked about City expenditure on the illegal occupiers. The Mayor answered that the City was providing basic municipal services on humanitarian grounds that include water points, portable chemical toilets and refuse removal on the periphery of the property.

Thus, given all this, we are concerned that, with this erf no longer even being mentioned in this years BEPP, the illegal occupiers will be left there with no humanitarian services – and no future. We are concerned for the surrounding residents – that their concerns and proposals have simply been swept off the table and under the nearest rug.

What has happened to erf 1117 and what will happen to those who call that erf their home?

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