Multimillion-rand renewal on the go in Khayelitsha

20 February 2015

Cape Town is focusing on previously under-invested centres as part of its Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP), to improve the lives of its more vulnerable residents. Khayelitsha is one of several geographic focus areas that the City has prioritised as strategic investment zones for development.

In the Harare area of Khayelitsha, 17 capital projects have been implemented to date to the value of about R100-million. The infrastructure and facility investment, driven by the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade programme and the city’s partners, which form part of the MURP, is based on community engagement and involvement.

Investments have been focused around the main pedestrian routes between Khayelitsha Station and Monwabisi Park informal settlement. Private sector partnerships, such as Grassroots Soccer, loveLife and Mosaic, have also been unlocked. These partners are helping the city to extend its services to this community.

In addition, investment in community facilities and public infrastructure of more than R80-million has already been made in the Kuyasa Precinct. Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille implemented the MURP in 2012.

“With the highest urbanisation rate in the country, the city requires a holistic and sustainable approach and well-planned solutions to the pressures brought on by urbanisation,” says the city’s mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe.

Apartheid spatial planning

“These challenges are, however, compounded by the apartheid spatial planning that we see across South Africa which has resulted in a socially and economically divided urban space.

“The objective of the MURP is therefore to uplift formerly neglected, under-invested areas which are regressing rapidly, and to improve safety, quality of life and the socioeconomic situation, through social partnerships – with a particular focus on the shared or public environment.

“Decay does not only refer to the general grime and deterioration that comes with time, but to the erosion of the economic vitality of our economic centres across the country. That is why it is important for us to create an enabling environment which will also breed further private sector investment,” he adds.

“These interventions are negotiated with communities and incorporated into community action plans or area strategies.”

The city’s priority areas for urban regeneration include the Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Gatesville, Manenberg and Athlone CBDs. The project also focuses on the CBDs of Bishop Lavis, Valhalla Park and Bonteheuwel. Furthermore, great attention is being given to the Bellville, Parow and Goodwood centres within the Voortrekker Road Corridor as well as the public transport interchanges in Harare and Kuyasa in Khayelitsha. Emphasis is also placed on the Mitchells Plain town centre, the town centres of Nyanga and Gugulethu, and those of Wesfleur (Atlantis), Ocean View and Macassar.

Building a town

Investments in Harare to date include the establishment of city environmental health offices, the installation of street lighting along walkways, the development of the community library, community hall and youth centre, the construction of residential and business units, the development of a business hub with line-shops, the development of facilities at Luleka School near Mew Way, and the development of a recreational park with Fifa’s Football for Hope Centre.

Investment in the Kuyasa Precinct, which is situated around the new Kuyasa railway station and serves a large section of Khayelitsha, including Enkanini, includes the construction of a regional library, subcouncil offices and the revamp of Solomon Mahlangu Hall to the value of nearly R75-million. The realignment of Walter Sisulu Drive is also under way.

“There is still much work to be done in Khayelitsha and in the other priority areas across the city. While I am proud of the successes achieved, our intervention efforts are being stepped up. City departments, the Western Cape government, the private sector and the various communities have embraced this programme. Partnerships such as these are vital. The transformation of our city and the empowerment of our residents cannot be achieved without partnerships,” says Van der Merwe.

Source: City of Cape Town