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THE proposed R140 billion Wescape development the city has supported has come under severe criticism – and been called a “new apartheid city”.
The city’s disaster risk management department has warned that it would be difficult to manage the area, and it has been pointed out that the new development would fall in the nuclear “red zone” as it is close to Koeberg.
Private developers have drawn up a bold plan to build Wescape, near Melkbosstrand with 200 000 homes, as well as hospitals, schools, shopping malls and colleges.
They foresee completing the project in 2036.
The city has supported the proposal which falls outside its urban edge.
Yesterday, activist and co-director of Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know) Zackie Achmat said Wescape was the “new apartheid city planned”.
He posted on his Facebook page: “Patricia de Lille, the DA and their private sector friends plan to remove people in informal settlements and on housing waiting list beyond Atlantis. They will be housed near the nuclear power station.”
Various city and provincial departments objected to the plan because of concerns around transport, water and electricity services and the emergency evacuation plan for Koeberg Power Station.
In council documents, the Atlantic Beach Home Owners’ Association said they were concerned about the lack of bulk infrastructure, the impact of traffic flow and possible unreasonable delays for residents of Atlantic Beach when travelling further afield.
David and Cathy Butler who live on a small holding adjacent to the Wescape site slammed the proposal: “The development will degenerate into nothing more than a low- cost housing, informal settlement slum”.
They said this scenario would impact heavily on the value of their property and that the low-cost city would destroy everything they worked for and “negate the very reason for being there”.
Wescape will cover 3 150ha of land with a possible population of 800 000.
The city’s human settlements department has endorsed the plan saying it would address the city’s 400 000 housing backlog and deal with the influx of people from other provinces.
The National Nuclear Regulator, Eskom’s Koeberg power station and the city’s disaster risk management centre said the development would be within the 5km to 16km Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone and any emergency evacuation of such a large number of residents would fail.
The area is subject to the Koeberg emergency plan, which requires that, in the event of a nuclear accident, it should be evacuated within 16 hours.
Achmat added on his Facebook page: “City planners say there is sufficient land within the current built-up areas. De Lille’s apartheid city is not only environmentally and economically unsound. It is in a nuclear danger zone. We must resist forced removals.”
In their report developers responded saying these concerns would be addressed during the detailed planning phase of the project.