File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.

Cape Town’s transport authority TCT is set to undergo an overhaul to include urban development and housing functions. In the new year, it will become known as the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) Cape Town.

The changes were prompted by the city’s new Organisational Development and Transformation plan adopted in August.

The city says the amalgamation of transport, urban planning, urban sustainability and housing functions is intended to reverse the effects of apartheid through social, economic and spatial transformation of the city.

Cape Town was the first metro to launch its own transport authority, TCT, in 2012 in line with national legislation to facilitate taking over the management of all public transport in the city. A by-law spelling out its functions and responsibilities was passed by council soon afterwards.

The TCT by-law will now be amended to become the Constitution of the Transport and Urban Development Authority Amendment by-law.

The public has until November 7 to comment and give input on the changes.

Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said the new approach would give rise to the city’s Strategy of Together, which would be the blueprint for establishing an efficient Cape Town by 2032.

The vision is for a compact, well-connected urban space where developments are conducive to economic and social efficiency, residents have easy access to efficient, sustainable and affordable public transport and where developments have limited impact on the natural environment.

Integrated spacial planning

“Going forward, transport and urban development should, in conjunction with other key city directorates and the private and public sector, implement the new approach to integrated spatial and transport planning to reverse the legacy of apartheid segregation and to meet the demands of future population growth. Key to this is to ensure that public housing is well-located,” said Herron.

According to the amended by-law, the TDA commissioner will have to respond to all land use applications that have the potential to impact transport or traffic.

The new urban planning functions of the commissioner include the implementation of all provincial and municipal planning laws and the management, implementation and review of the city’s spatial district plans.

The commissioner will also manage the processes of the Municipal Planning Tribunal.

As far as human settlements are concerned, the commissioner will have to implement all national housing legislation and provide all housing types in the city to address the backlog of the city’s housing waiting list.

Furthermore, the commissioner will also be responsible for implementing the city’s urban sustainability strategy and reviewing the TDA’s carbon footprint.

“The integration of these important government functions - into one Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) - is the culmination of the planning we have done, and commitments we have made, to build a city that is inclusive, integrated and sustainable. It is a restructuring that is necessary to deliver on one of this government’s most fundamental priorities,” said Herron.

Council plans to amend the by-law by January next year.

The term of the current transport commissioner, Melissa Whitehead, expires at the end of the year, and the city is currently in the process of appointing a new top executive.

Cape Argus