Cape Town - Residents living in areas adjacent to the demolished Athlone cooling towers have called for the site to be used for housing and job creation.
Decommissioning plans for the site are expected to be finalised soon, the City said, before re-purposing gets underway.
Energy Mayco member Beverley van Reenen said the site had potential to boost the City’s energy footprint.
Langa ward councillor, Lwazi Phakade, said residents wanted housing and a space that created jobs, like a mall.
He said residents were worried that the City won’t provide this.
“Residents have expressed concerns because when they came together, there was agreement that the site would take care of the housing shortage.
“Now we are being driven towards an idea by the City about sustainable electricity.”
Langa resident and activist since the 1980s, Madoda Dopla Cuphe, echoed the need for housing and said whatever development occurred, it had to prioritise residents’ needs and best interests.
Pastor Chivaughn Brown, Sunnyside Civic Association and Neighbourhood Watch member, said feedback from residents was that they wanted a mixed development consisting of an informal trade station, like a grand bazaar, and a training and cultural centre.
“This would entail a multi-purpose initiative with its core purpose to bring people together, the uplifting of the community, and bringing the community within future sustainability, resource building, and new technology via universities in a hub,” he said.
Lester September, chairperson of the Forum of Cape Flats Civics, urged the City to undertake its public participation process as soon as possible.
He said a research and development centre would uplift residents.
“Many years ago it was supposed to be used for a mall, but I don’t see why it can’t be used for both considering today’s technology, becoming a sustainability technology park of sorts creating different types of jobs.
“Battery power can be installed as well as solar panels on a proposed grand bazaar that is owned by the community.”
Energy Mayco member Beverley van Reenen said the process would be undertaken after the decommissioning.
“The City’s Energy Directorate sees huge potential for this site, which will assist in the transformation of the City’s energy footprint and support economic growth and the provision of basic services.
“The re-powering and re-purposing can only begin once the decommissioning of the site has been completed.