Mined for ideas

2017-08-22 06:00

It’s time to go back to the drawing board for the Strand Street quarry, community members say, after several years of attempts by the City of Cape Town to lease the problem site have resulted in naught.

Bo-Kaap Civic Association chairperson Osman Shaboodien says the community faces a new challenge in finding a use for the site, after the City’s attempt to lease the site “didn’t work”.

At the end of last year, the tender process to find someone to take over the quarry was cancelled (“Quarry tender grinds to a halt”, People’s Post, 7 February).

The process ran last year to find proposals for a medium-term lease. Three tenders were received, but only one was viable. However, as the “tenderer was non-responsive in terms of the tender criteria relating to the financial offer and organisational structure”, the tender was cancelled in December last year, Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management previously told People’s Post. No-one was appointed.

The quarry – which has been linked to crime, vagrancy and littering – was to be developed by the City as a 2010 legacy project. But the development was put on hold after funding dried up (“Plan grinds to a halt”, People’s Post, 23 September 2014).

The quarry had previously been earmarked for development by Sanparks, which investigated installing some kind of cableway to transport visitors to Signal Hill and the Noon Gun.

The site has cultural and heritage value and is due to be proclaimed a national heritage site. The quarry provided much of the stone that was used to build the Cape’s early structures and has a number of Muslim shrines.

Shaboodien says during a recent meeting with Suzette Little, Mayco member (North), residents were called on to present a solution for both the quarry and the adjacent Wash House Quarry, also known as the Kraal.

The organisation now faces the challenge to find a “workable, sustainable project” for the site, Shaboodien says. It is hoped the community can develop a project that would boost local skills development, tourism and economic development. “The project also needs to bridge the gap between the Bo-Kaap and the rest of the city and needs to reflect the Bo-Kaap,” he says.

The site remains a security concern for residents, Shaboodien adds.

Diamond says: “The City is considering options and concepts for the property, taking into consideration access, heritage and environmental constraints. The City is not yet in a position to respond on the future utilisation of the site until investigations have been completed.”

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