New plan for District 6

Published Sep 8, 2011

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Zara Nicholson

The final proposal for District Six is on the verge of being signed. And this is what the area will probably look like.

At a high-powered meeting between national, provincial and city heads this week, they all gave the thumbs up to the broad outline of the plan, under which 42ha of land will be filled with more than 4 000 residential properties, commercial and office space.

The task team meeting was also attended by the District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust and the project managers, Target Projects.

The redevelopment is expected to cost between R6 and R7 billion and construction is projected to start early next year.

If the development finally gets the green light, it will heal a wound that has blighted the face of the City Bowl since the houses were demolished more than 40 years ago.

Close to 3 000 claimants have been registered, while only a handful of families have moved back so far.

At the meeting, top officials gave their views on what they call the “final business and redevelopment plan” presented by the trust and Target Projects. Heads of the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform attended the meeting as well as Premier Helen Zille and Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson.

Zille said, while the meeting was “very encouraging”, there was still work to be done.

Robert MacDonald, who is on the District Six task team for the premier’s office, said there was still debate about some technical aspects, but the overall spatial layout of the area had been accepted. MacDonald said technical issues regarding the location of commercial areas were not final as planners for Target Projects felt it would be good to havedispersed commercial space, while planners for the city felt a more centralised commercial space would work better.

Zille asked technical planning staff to debate the location of the commercial area and submit a solution to the task team in a month’s time.

MacDonald said: “Either way, we don’t intend for this to be drawn out. The commercial space was the only point that needed further clarification, but the idea is to come back in a month and sign.”

Once the plan is signed, it will be available for public participation, where the model of the development will also be shown to the public.

Another key aspect that all parties agreed on was the need for a “Special Purpose Vehicle” to drive the development and sustain the area once it was complete.

Anwah Nagia, of the District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust, said this would be a company formed in line with the New Company’s Act, and said various legal teams would now also debate the structure of the corporate that would drive the development of District Six.

Full story available in the print edition of the Cape Times

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