From Director's Desk

By: Target Projects  11-11-2011
Keywords: Rural Development, commercial space, National Departments

The FINAL proposal for District Six is on the threshold of being signed.

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 which will see 42 hectares of land 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 R7billion while construction is projected to start early next year. 

If the development finally gets t..

New Plan for District 6 (Cape Times 8th September 2011 - Zara Nicholson)

The FINAL proposal for District Six is on the threshold of being signed.

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 which will see 42 hectares of land 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 R7billion while construction is projected to start early next year. 

If the development finally gets the green light, it will expunge a wound that has blighted the face of the city bowl when the houses were demolished more than 40 years ago.

Close to 3000 claimants have been registered altogether, 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 national departments from Rural Development and land Affairs attended the meeting as well as Premier Helen Zille and Deputy Mayor, Ian Nielson.

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 are still debates on some technical aspects but the overall spatial layout of the area had been accepted. 

MacDonald said technical issues about the location of commercial areas were not final as planners for Target Projects felt it would be good to have dispersed 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’s time and sign”.

Once the plan is signed, it will go up 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 is complete.

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

This company will be responsible for leasing land to commercial and other residential tenants.

Nagia said the legalities of setting up the company will now be addressed in terms of what the company can do, what kind of trading they can do, how equitable the profits will be and how the board will be elected among other things.

This week’s task team meeting with all top officials was delayed numerous times due to people’s diaries and availability. 

But Nagia and Neilson said technical staff from all sides have been meeting regularly to fine tune the plan, broad details of which were reported by the Cape Times about five months ago.

Earlier Nagia said they hoped complete the development by 2015.

With most of the 3 000 claimants still due to move back to District Six, the surplus of the 4 000 residential units will be rented out to the public

The City of Cape Town is looking at increasing the density in the area.

Nielson said: “The city has commented on detailed aspects of the plan but it is broadly supported by everyone. We hope to put in a strong public system especially getting the Integrated Rapid Transport System (IRT) in that area. We have been assessing the proposal since May looking at the implications of bulk services and the transport system but overall there is a agreement on the plan. We are looking at higher density development because there is an opportunity for it but it shouldn’t change the plans a lot.”

MacDonald said a three-year deadline would help the momentum of the project as it did when the city constructed the Cape Town Stadium in record time to be ready for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

“We had a positive meeting. Some of the city’s A-team officials who worked on the stadium will be onto this. All the relevant national, provincial people are on board now and we will push to get the final agreement between all parties including the claimants and the trust. But we are closer to agreements than we’ve ever been in the past. For once we have concrete proposals on the table,” MacDonald said.

Nielson said: “We want a solution that is good urban design and has lots of work and commercial opportunities. It must be a modern development. The political will is there now and there are differences of opinion but it’s in the detail. It’s not going to stop the plan.”

Specifics about the funding have not yet been made available to the press.

Keywords: commercial space, National Departments, Rural Development, Spatial Layout