Public participation for spatial development slammed

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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THE City’s public participation process for its integrated spatial development framework plan has been slammed as an empty exercise as residents' input were not taken into serious account, civic organisations said.

The City published its Integrated Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs) and Environmental Management Frameworks (EMFs) for the eight planning districts across Cape Town for public comment until June 6, 2021.

The Forum of Cape Flats Civics (FCFC), representing 23 organisations, said most of the public participation sessions were used by the City to present its plans leaving no time for input from residents.

“Our members have been to a number of sessions. The facilitators take most of the time allocated to present. Leaving very little time for communities to ask questions and facilitators seemed trained to deflect any questions or suggestions on housing solutions outside the district you reside and don't want you to speak about social development interventions in your area.”

Further, they said the plan was nothing new.

“The City is trying to force through their old plans/ draft SDF via the back door via Transport Orientated Development that will see them spend R32 billion on rolling out a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system along Voortrekker Road effectively by-passing the Cape Flats where such a system is needed,“ the FCFC said.

They added that residents were limited in what they could comment on: “If you live on the Cape Flats, you can't raise solutions to housing in the inner city as this falls outside your district”.

The City said it would alert officials to be more attentive at meetings.

“We appreciate the comments (from the FCFC) and will alert officials to the request that residents need more time for their questions to be addressed during meetings – be it in person, at the open days, or online,” Mayoral Committee member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said.

“Residents can attend any meeting they choose and are at liberty to comment on any of the draft district SDFs and EMFs, regardless of where they reside, work, or do business.”

As for the roll-out of the MyCiTi bus service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, the City said Council approved the concept design of the Phase 2A trunk routes and the locations of the MyCiTi stations in 2016.

’’This followed after a seven month-long public participation process about the proposed conceptual design for the trunk routes from October 2014 until July 2015. The route alignment of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service cannot be changed through the current public participation process about the draft SDFs as Council approved the route alignment in 2016 already.’’

The draft integrated district SDFs and EMFs are available on the City’s website at: http://bit.do/SDFReview

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