On Thursday, October 24, the Municipal Planning Tribunal approved a R14-billion development which will go up in the Mother City’s Foreshore district.
According to News24, the Harbour Arch development will be the largest of its kind in the city centre. The area where the mixed-use development will go up was purchased by Amdec from Transnet for R14-billion.
The application for the development was first approved in 2012. Amdec then applied to amend the conditions of approval at the end of 2018. This was so that the change in lease ownership and the change in the size of the development to include residential units, would be accounted for.
The application was met with a total of six objections. Four from Urban Design and two from housing activist group Ndifuna Ukwazi. The hearing took place over four hours, and focused on the height of the building and the structure of the parking bay.
Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City brought up the issue of lack of affordable housing. The groups further highlighted how the development would exclude poor and working class people from the CBD.
The developers countered this in their presentation saying there was no obligation to include affordable housing. The Amdec Group however demonstrated their commitment to spatial justice by showcasing an affordable housing development in Ottery. The 10-hectare area will have 1 000 affordable housing units.
Speaking to GroundUp, CEO James Willson said: “We are doing our bit to create 1 000 houses for people in our less affluent communities, who have in the past been excluded from good quality housing at reasonable prices. We need some healing from our past and investment into communities who were previously excluded from economic growth in our country.”
Wilson stated he would be happy to communicate with Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City about possible future plans for affordable housing elsewhere in inner city.