The City of Cape Town has approved building plans to the value of more than R17.2 billion between March 2020 and April 2021 and counts Khayelitsha among the top two planning districts. File photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town has approved building plans to the value of more than R17.2 billion between March 2020 and April 2021 and counts Khayelitsha among the top two planning districts. File photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Khayelitsha set for development growth as City approves R17bn in building plans

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published May 13, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has approved building plans to the value of more than R17.2 billion between March 2020 and April 2021 and counts Khayelitsha among the top two planning districts, according to Mayco member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt.

Statistics from the City’s Development Management Department for the period show the department approved 18 070 building plans across all planning districts in Cape Town which cover a floor area of 2 266 212 square metres.

Nieuwoudt said Khayelitsha’s second place on the list with 3 078 approved building plans behind the 3 425 plans attributed to the City’s Northern district was a sign that a lot of building activity is already ongoing, or imminent for the area, all of which is funded by residents and the private sector.

“A very promising trend is the number of building plans that the private sector has submitted for building work in the Khayelitsha planning district during this period.

“The City has approved a total number of 3 078 building plans, of which 1 065 are residential in nature, and 941 for additions and alterations to existing buildings.

“This indicates a significant investment in residential properties in Khayelitsha. The estimated value of the building work is R1.6 billion, and one can assume that many local businesses and residents stand to benefit from the work that will flow from the approved building plans once construction commences.

Nieuwoudt said that while Covid-19 had a devastating impact on the local economy and the road to recovery was an uphill one, the City’s development management department has implemented various solutions to ensure business continues normally as far as possible.

The number of building plan approvals for each planning district are as follows:

  • Northern – 3 425
  • Khayelitsha – 3 078
  • Tygerberg – 2 587
  • Southern – 2 237
  • Blaauwberg – 1 980
  • Helderberg – 1 772
  • Cape Flats – 1 606
  • Table Bay – 1 385

Responding to the news, ANC provincial finance and economic opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo said: “We welcome attempts to enable economic activities to fast-track recovery given the dire effects of Covid-19, particularly to local economies and households.

“Building plans approval unlocks the much-needed construction work to realise much-needed infrastructure with benefits for local labour and emerging contractors such as painting, plumbing and related works.

“Construction companies have often raised concerns of turnaround times by municipalities in approving building plans, and any improvement ought to be seen as a positive step.”

Good Party MPL Brett Herron said: “This is good news if those projects are implemented. Even better news if they’re construction ready because the impact will be felt in jobless homes sooner.

But the public sector, including the City, has its role to play in stimulating the economy through public infrastructure. In the public sector, projects are slipping. They are being cancelled or delayed through poor leadership.”

Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) chairperson Deon van Zyl said: “We are excited about the investment, this indicates not only in Khayelitsha but in other decentralised areas including such as the Northern and Cape Flats districts.

“We take note of the positive news of the number of building plans passed and the floor area they represent, which indicate a positive investment message. However, the important question to pose is whether the City has, in turn, also provided the necessary bulk infrastructure to accommodate this growth. The one cannot happen without the other.”

Meanwhile, Van Zyl said the WCPDF would host a conference next week to mend fences between private and public sectors in industry.

“The WCPDF’s 2021 Vision for Growth conference aims to bruins an end to stalemates and stand-offs between the public and private sectors which have largely been blamed for the stagnation that has set into the property development and construction industries for a number of years now, even before the pandemic.”

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