The land where Bonteheuwel’s peace garden is situated is earmarked for auction. Picture: Supplied
The land where Bonteheuwel’s peace garden is situated is earmarked for auction. Picture: Supplied

Bonteheuwel residents slam City's decision to auction revamped peace garden land

By Vincent Cruywagen Time of article published Sep 10, 2019

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Cape Town - Residents from Bonteheuwel are fuming over the City's plans to auction off a piece of land the community transformed into a peace garden.

Residents claim there was no public participation and blame local DA ward councillor Angus Mckenzie for doing absolutely nothing to ensure that the process was fair and transparent.

But Mckenzie rejected these claims and said the public process was thorough and that no objection was raised by residents and organisations.

The auction has been criticised by the ANC and Good party's secretary general, Brett Herron.

Soraya Salie, founder of Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, said: “The piece of land was a dump site and the City never bothered to clean it. The community took the initiative to clean it up and volunteered to turn it into a peace garden. On Youth Day we had an official inauguration of the garden. McKenzie, as well as other members of the community, attended to bless the garden with prayers.”

Residents have now embarked on a petition to save their peace garden and urgently call on the City of Cape Town to stop this auction.

Community members also want people to e-mail their objection to city representatives.

Mckenzie said: “I did not attend the inauguration of the peace garden.

"There is a positive spin-off from the auction. Churches, mosques and organisations now have the opportunity to invest in Bonteheuwel by attending the auction and putting in their bid."

But ANC Western Cape spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said: “We suspect the City is miffed that the community of Bonteheuwel used its initiative to change an illegal rubbish dump into a peace haven. The City should leave the peace park alone.”

Meanwhile Herron said: "Last year it was the same Mckenzie who initially stopped the transfer of the Salt River Market site for an affordable housing project when he requested council to withdraw the proposal to dispose of the large inner city site for affordable housing.”

According to City's spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo, the authority to commence with a public-participation process was granted on April 6, 2018.

“There is no record of an approval being granted for the use of the property for park purposes.”


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Cape Argus

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