Cape Town -111209. Mayor Patricia De Lille being interviewed on her first six months as the mayor of Cape Town. Reporter: Babalo. Pic: Jason Boud

Cape Town - Atlantis residents will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the multibillion-rand Wescape development project, says Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

“Not only will the development create jobs and opportunities, but it will also connect Atlantis to the CBD,” De Lille said on Thursday. “We are very excited and fully support the development.”

Atlantis, about 45km outside the city, has for years been known as the “forgotten town”.

Unemployment, lack of housing and crime are the biggest challenges in the area.

CommuniTgrow, the Cape Town-based private sector urban development company driving the Wescape development, hopes a number of Atlantis residents will buy into the new concept.

Wescape will assist in providing solutions to many of the metropole’s economic expansion requirements and 20-year plan for education, housing and health, said CommuniTgrow chief executive Ruben Richards.

The company website says: “Wescape comprises lifelong learning with all-encompassing health care, employment opportunities and social sustenance.

“The Wescape community development model incorporates industry, technology, food security, infrastructure, waste processing, energy reduction and production in a holistic manner, minimising environmental impact from urban growth. ‘Green lung’ public spaces integrated into residential nodes and community areas in a unique living space, make a safe, accessible and practical environment for all.”

During the opening of a new electronic-manufacturing company in Atlantis this week, premier Helen Zille said the area was slowly being resurrected.

“Many people look to the government to create jobs, but the government should only create the context for businesses to invest in our region, and by so doing, create jobs.”

Richards said communiTgrow had taken advantage of the opportunity and hoped to have its project approved by the provincial government soon.

Cape Argus