A R1-billion offer to develop prime coastal land between Clifton and Camps Bay has been accepted by the City of Cape Town.

Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Development, Brett Herron, said on Wednesday that the sale of five of the City’s 16 hectares would lead to a rejuvenation of the surrounding area.

“It will improve public access to the beach, ocean and recreational facilities as well as protect the natural vegetation, enhance local and international tourism potential and unlock investment to drive job creation,” he said.

Chosen from eight tenders, the successful bid – from a shelf company linked to Ethan Dube’s Vunani Capital – is subject to a 21-day appeal period.

Herron said that Dube, along with fellow Vunani director Mark Anderson and property developer Tobie Mynhardt, would build 52 detached homes, a boutique hotel or serviced apartment block, offices, studios, flats and a 725-bay underground car park.

Herron did not give details about the other parts of the 16ha Clifton Scenic Reserve, but said it would be “developed and managed by the private sector as sustainable assets for future generations” under 50-year leases.

Successful bidders would have to upgrade Maiden’s Cove picnic area into a coastal park, rehabilitate Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club’s buildings, construct two boardwalks, redevelop the Glen Country Club clubhouse and improve other infrastructure in the area. Herron says that at least 10% of the R1-billion raised by the sale of the land would be allocated to affordable and inclusive housing projects in the inner city.

Although the City of Cape Town has said that the massive development will have multiple benefits, the news is not sitting well with everyone. Deputy chairperson of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, which represents more than 360 organisations around the city and less affluent areas including Manenberg, Len Swimmer, said residents would lose out.

“They’re going to build a massive parking lot [as part of the development], so people will have to then pay and won’t be able to get in,” he said.

“So it’s going to be an exclusive area for the wealthy.”

Chairperson of the Camps Bay and Clifton Ratepayers Association, Chris Willemse, said the awarding of the tender by the city was disappointing.

“They [the city] took no cognizance of the huge public disapproval of this scheme,” he said.

“We know what happens. The area gets gentrified. People who are enjoying the area traditionally, historically and rightfully won’t be able to afford it anymore.”

Willemse said it seemed as if the City of Cape Town had awarded the tender simply to benefit itself.

“It’s not a secret that developers are the sponsors of the DA,” he said.


Photography Bevan Langley

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