Masi development plan ready

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane with Mayor Patricia de Lille during a visit to Masiphumelele last year.

The City of Cape Town will present a plan to Masiphumelele residents and community leaders this week outlining the future development of the township.

They will have several weeks to mull over the plan.

Masiphumelele residents have waited anxiously to see the plan since the City signed a deal with the community in November last year, agreeing to move residents in the wetlands to erf 5131 and provide them with low-cost housing (“Agreement with City a victory for Masi,” Echo, December 7, 2017).

Earlier this month, community leader Tshepo Moletsane threatened to take their frustrations to the streets after the City missed its end-of-June deadline to present the plan.

But since then, Mr Moletsane said he had been in communication with the City and several meetings would be taking place this week.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, said the plan was a complex document and the draft had taken longer than expected.

It proposed how the City, the community and other stakeholders could respond to the immediate challenges and needs of those living in Masiphumelele.

It also dealt with the provision of housing opportunities; the improvement of services such as water, sanitation and electricity; the improvement and provision of access routes; integration with surrounding communities; and the protection of the natural environment and the wetlands.

The plan laid out a broad vision of how Masiphumelele and the surrounding area could be developed in the years ahead.

“All stakeholders, from the City, to the local community, and interest groups, must work together and reach consensus on the vision for Masiphumelele and the broader village,” he said.

MrMoletsanesaidthat although the City had failed them dismally in the past, it
had now committed to meet with leadership, the community, and with the ratepayers’ association.

“We will monitor the progress closely,” he said.

A fire station and a new taxi rank are also planned for Masiphumelele, and, according to ward councillor Felicity Purchase, both are on track.

The new R14 million rank will provide shelters and toilets for the more than 3 000 commuters expected to use the rank daily and there will be space for 60 minibus taxis. The rank will also have an administration building, (“Big boost for Masi taxi rank,” Echo, April 5). Ms Purchase said the City was also negotiating with SANParks for a portion of land – erf 4198 – for housing and said the environmental impact assessment for erf 5131 was on track.

“We have met regularly with the representative from the public protector’s office and there seems to be agreement that service delivery is above average in Masiphumelele,” Ms Purchase said. Chairman of the Sunnydale Ratepayers’ Association, Chris Dooner, said they had not seen the revised development plan yet.