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Bonteheuwel wants to be reclassified from a township to a suburb

Bonteheuwel councillors have put forward a motion to declare the area a suburb instead of its existing township status. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Bonteheuwel councillors have put forward a motion to declare the area a suburb instead of its existing township status. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 21, 2019

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Cape Town - Bonteheuwel no longer wants to be a township, and would rather be reclassified a suburb.

Councillors in the area have put forward a motion to the City to change its status from a township to a suburb.

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Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said: “The area was classified as a township under the apartheid government and the name change can also show that we are no longer segregated. 

“The CBD of Bonteheuwel will be upgraded through increased infrastructure and new developments, which will represent a suburb.”

McKenzie said Bonteheuwel was not much different to other suburban areas, “the houses are just a lot smaller. There are 14 schools in the area, which is an achievement when considering the size of the area; nine gym parks and three community centres”.

Subcouncil 5 in Bonteheuwel received the motion on October 8, and the motion was tabled at a subcouncil meeting on October 16. “The name status can provide a change of perception of the area, and it will allow for more business empowerment and developments to take place. The name change also shouldn’t affect any rates.” 

Resident and founder of Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, Soraya Salie, said: “There is a stigma attached to the area if it falls under a township, however,  I am uncertain about classifying it as a suburb because every second house still has a wendy house in the backyard and their are still many broken buildings.”

Salie said that a lot of work still needed to be done for it to be called a suburb “because the CBD area is not something we can be proud of”. 

Bonteheuwel Ratepayers’ Association spokesperson Derek Tucker said: “We need to research the consequences of the name change and who will actually benefit from it. Even if the name changes, the residents are still living in the same conditions. 

“A significant number of people still live below the breadline, and if many of the homes of residents are still owned by the City, how can Bonteheuwel be changed to a suburb?” He said the reclassification may change the perception of the area, but it is still a red zone. “It will come down to semantics because to what extent will the change have on the people?” 

McKenzie said the Bonteheuwel CBD would be upgraded as funds have been allocated. A new housing and road project is expected to start start next year.

@Sukainaish

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Cape Argus

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