The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has finalised conditions to which Insight Developers is to strictly adhere to when commencing building the proposed shopping mall on the shores of the controversial Princess Vlei wetlands.
Environmental Affairs and Development Planning spokesperson Aziel Gangerdine said the approved conditions were signed of by MEC Antony Bredell on February 14 and was handed to the applicant Insight Developers
“Conditions under which activities (of constructing the proposed shopping mall) were approved and communicated to the applicant on February 14,” said Gangerdine.
He said the conditions hadn’t changed much in terms of the initial proposal as a lot of concerns raised by the community were taken into consideration.
But the land in question still remains in the hands of the City and has to under go a public participation process before it is finally sold to the applicant said Mayco for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning Garreth Bloor.
“Province has done what it is required in terms of its responsibilities,” said Bloor.
The proposed sale of the land was being considered by the City and will be subject to public participation process.
“The City is committed to following due process and ensuring that all views are considered in the necessary public participation process,” he said.
Bredell said the matter was now in the City’s hands “they must deal with it”.
He said the City was still to decide whether to sell the land to Insight Developers.
There has been a lot of out cry from Princess Vlei surrounding communities with thousands of residents signing petition against the proposed shopping mall.
Phillip Bam secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance—an umbrella body of Cape Town community organisations and ratepayers associations—said Bredell did not take into consideration “the communities feelings and their desire to develop the space as an eco park and memory park instead of a shopping mall”.
But he said there was still public participation to be undertaken before the land was sold off to Insight Developers and he hoped that the City would listen to resident’s frustrations.
“There are thousands of people opposed to the proposed development. The entire Cape Town community is opposed to it,” said Bam, “We believe that the City must be sensitive to cultural significance of the area and respond in a way that will not alienate the community.”
Bredell said the residents had their right to be upset but his department had to work within the legal flame work and was legal compliant.
Repeated efforts to get a comment form Insight Developer’s director Neville Thornton were fruitless—Peter Luhanga