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Cape Town -
Residents and ratepayers who attended the first public meeting on the future of Cape Town Stadium say the business plan being considered lacks credibility.
On its website, the Green Point Residents and Ratepayers Association also said the zoning amendments the city needed to allow for commercial activity at the stadium were based on the “flawed premise” that they were necessary to satisfy the business plan.
As these recommendations came from the city and were not open to public input, the process was “self-serving and predetermined to confirm the existing city policy”.
The assocation added: “The only plausible justification for having built the stadium (and for keeping it) is that it is an iconic building that adds value to Cape Town.
“We should therefore focus on using it for its core purpose, hosting sport events, and accept that the cost of only 0.12 percent of the city budget is an acceptable burden to bear.”
The stadium is running at a loss of least R40 million a year.
Geoff Underwood, the stadium development project manager, told the meeting that the new environmental authorisation and applications for rezoning would require extensive public participation, taking about 12 to 18 months. These applications would then be submitted to the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
Grant Pascoe, city mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said a poll earlier this year showed that only one-third of respondents did not support the proposed business plan, and fewer than 20 percent wanted the stadium demolished. However, there was strong support for demolition at the public meeting. Pascoe said this was not an option. “We will continue to pursue alternative options to make the stadium financially sustainable.”
The Green Point Residents and Ratepayers Association was concerned about the stadium’s financial viability. “The city was quite wrong about the financial implications of building the stadium. We can reasonably expect it to be quite wrong again about the financial implications of further development,” it said.
Underwood said the urban park would remain untouched, but that there were plans to use a piece of land on the Granger Bay side for an eight-storey building.
The next public participation opportunity, to discuss the environmental and land-use applications, will be early in 2014.