Following Council approval at its meeting on Wednesday, 29 August 2012, the City of Cape Town will submit its proposal to the Provincial Government for the amendment to the development plan for Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement in Hout Bay. Once these plans have been approved, the City will commence implementation.
First on the City’s list is the improvement of public transport in the area. Plans have been submitted for the development of a mixed-use public transport facility that will serve as the base of operations for both the mini-bus taxi industry and the MyCiTi bus network.
Extensive research has taken place in order to determine the optimal placement of this facility. This has resulted in it being placed at the northern intersection of Hout Bay Main Road and N R Mandela Road. In addition, the proposal makes provision for public transport stops to be placed along N R Mandela Road in order to afford the entire area easy access to these new facilities.
The City’s approval process for the development plans in this area has been exhaustive, with all parties being thoroughly consulted. Environmental impact assessments have taken place, and input from local community organisations taken into account in order to optimise this development strategy.
In terms of the environmental impact of the development plans, the City has taken all necessary measures to limit the negative effects of the proposed development. Consultation between the City and the Hout Bay and Llandudno Environment Conservation Group has resulted in the optimal balance between the needs of the residents and the protection of the environment being achieved.
The plans to build a new service road to facilitate the expansion of public transport in the area were amended so that N R Mandela Road with its central position in the settlement could, with minor improvements, become the main access route in accordance with the residents’ wishes.
Concerns were also expressed that the location of the public transport facility, as well as the adjacent informal trading area, would be too remote for many residents of the settlement to conveniently access. It is for this reason that the City has made provision for the placement of public transport stops along N R Mandela Road.
“This step is the first of many the City plans to take to improve the conditions of the residents of Imizamo Yethu,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Alderman Belinda Walker. “The establishment of an affordable and accessible public transport system is vital to the improvement of the area, affording residents a greater range of economic opportunities that will serve to improve the character of the area.”