City of Cape Town unveils plans for unfinished highways

Cape Town - Prospective developers who want to bid for the City of Cape Town’s Foreshore Freeway Precinct, which includes a solution for the unfinished highways, will have to be self-funding so as to not burden taxpayers with additional rates, said Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Herron elaborated on some of the requirements the City will include in a soon-to-be-published prospectus that will provide investors and developers with the necessary requirements their proposals should meet.

“The City does not have the funds needed to finish the highways, or to address the traffic congestion on the freeways into Cape Town’s city centre,” Herron said, “and we’re not likely to be able to fund these solutions from our rates base in the foreseeable future.”

Herron emphasised that the City won’t prescribe to potential bidders whether their proposals should include completing the unfinished highways. “Prospective developers may decide to complete them as a whole, or in part, or dismantling them altogether.”

However, the proposals from the bidders must elaborate on how all three of the unfinished highways will be addressed in terms of transport, access and the alleviation of current and future congestion, and most importantly, include affordable housing provision for a cross-section of income groups.

“The housing component can be developed within the Foreshore Precinct itself, or on sites supplementary to the core development area in the city centre,” Herron said. “This will most likely be the last considerable development in the Cape Town city centre.”

The City will make available a 6ha-strip of land extending from the Cape Town International Conference Centre Highway to the area located under and between the unfinished highways.

A public participation process will precede the proposed development. Residents and interested parties would be able to view 3D scaled models of bidders’ intended designs, which will be exhibited at the Cape Town’s Civic Centre’s public concourse.

The City of Cape Town has recently faced considerable opposition from residents about the sale of land and prospective developments. In October last year, the Western Cape High Court granted an urgent interdict to halt the development of a proposed MyCiti bus route along South Road in Wynberg.

Asked if the City expected opposition to the Foreshore Freeway Precinct, Herron said there has already been considerable engagement with the public about the intended project. “We started in 2012 when we invited students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) to submit ideas for the development of the precinct. It has generated a lot of excitement and interest.” 

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