Foreshore Freeway project cancelled
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Mayor Patricia de Lille, whose powers have been reduced, said even she was taken by surprise by the decision. She has previously stated that one of the reasons why she is under attack by the DA is her pro-social housing stance.
De Lille announced the R8bn Freeway Project to complete unfinished bridges and build social houses in the inner city last year. But City of Cape Town manager Lungelo Mbandazayo yesterday said that, upon receiving legal advice, he had taken the decision to cancel the request for proposals (RFP) for the development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct.
De Lille said the mayoral committee had not been told of the decision.
“The last meeting I had with the City manager, he told me that there were deficiencies. I understood that, but now this has happened without my approval nor the approval of the mayoral committee. I am convening a meeting about this so it can be rectified. The need for social housing in the inner city remains our core priority. We need to address traffic congestion and apartheid spatial planning,” De Lille said.
JP Smith, deputy DA caucus leader and mayoral committee member for safety and security, admitted the matter had not been discussed at mayco. Mbandazayo said the six bidders were notified last Friday.
“The Stage 1 bid evaluation process was concluded in February 2018. Several appeals and objections were lodged that contested the application of the evaluation criteria as set out in the RFP documentation. Having received legal advice, the City concluded that a lack of sufficient clarity in the RFP documentation rendered the evaluation criteria vague,” he said.
Mitchell du Plessis Associates was announced as preferred bidder for the project earlier this year. The winning proposal included the completion of unfinished sections of freeway. There were plans to build 3200 market-related residential units and at least 450 units for social housing on the open land below the bridges.
In February, the City estimated the costs of the development at R8.3bn at last year’s prices while construction was expected to begin in 2020.
Mbandazayo reiterated that procurement processes need be compliant with section 217 of the constitution which governs public procurement.
“There must be no doubt about the integrity of these processes and, as such, I have decided to cancel the RFP. Furthermore, the economic outlook for the country has become significantly weaker since the issuing of the RFP two years ago. This change, together with the additional burdens that the City, its ratepayers and residents are facing at the moment, cannot be ignored. The City is, therefore, reconsidering the future of this project,” he said.
Last month, the Cape Argus reported that the Western Cape government was paying a security company R2.9 million per month to secure the Helen Bowden site in Green Point. The building has been occupied by housing activists for more than a year following calls for more affordable housing in the city centre.@JasonFelix