Help us understand the duplicity of malls

2017-05-11 06:02

The residents of Khayelitsha have always clamoured for a mall that could spare them transport costs, safety and protection from Khayelitsha’s sandy and windy weather, as well as contribute to the local economy.

However, instead people have had to deal with and support a centre with no roof over it, which goes against the spirit of modernity.

This was in contrast to expectations.

The concept of allowing the rand to revolve around Khayelitsha first before moving out of the area was thus compromised.

To boot! How many people are ferried to the Mitchells Plain Town Centre and the Promenade on weekends.

Based on the above, one can deduce that the mall was not built to initial specifications, but was cut down to size.

That was a subsequent explanation to queries regarding its difference in proportion to the Promenade Mall.

If you compare the “Promenade” and the Khayelitsha Mall, the latter is dwarfed by the first.

I don’t know how many upgrades the Promenade has undergone since it was built, while Khayelitsha one still has to be revamped.

To add: While we are waiting for that to happen, another one was built, adjacent to the existing one.

Be that as it may, a Mr Gaula went on a tirade in his report, placing the blame on the city for reneging on an initial agreement to deliver land.

What is of concern is that he does not state the reasons why the city has decided to somersault on its initial agreement with KCT.

Mr Gaula, the question is why has the city reneged?.

I hope that some city officials will give their side of the story to help balance the equation so as to assist us.

Lets say, maybe the city has unveiled incompetency on the part of KCT.

Or that financially or otherwise, the community of Khayelitsha is not benefitting from this project and instead individuals outside of this community are reaping the rewards.

I am just setting the cat amongst the pigeons, but I stand to correction, if I am wrong.

The Graceland housing project is unable to advance due to the transfer of land or refusal by the city to deliver on its promise.

The reasons why the city refuses to abide by a resolution that seems to be binding on both parties is not stated.

I doubt that city officials are naive enough to refuse to give reasons for withholding the transfer of an already serviced site.

Are they so incompetent and lack intelligence as to put a desirable project on hold?

What could they have uncovered that would lead them to behave in this manner.

The explanation or narrative fails to convince or make us understand the objections and reasons behind the City’s actions.

There seems to be more questions than answers. Make us understand.

What I see in the report is a one dimensional approach to garner sympathy from the community.

Can you help in this regard.

Is the KCT a community based structure in name only?

Is it registered for or on behalf of the community? Unpack the business part, the accountability and benefits that accrue to the community and how the shares are distributed to the community?

What is the community’s role within the KCT, and what is KCT’s involvement within the community.

Does the community have decisionmaking powers within KCT?

Please break down its accountability to the community in simple layman terms, so that any person can understand and interpret them that easily.

How much control does the community of Khayelitsha have over KCT? The “mall” as you state is valued at R300 million; who owns that asset?

This is not an instance of envy for those who work hard for their money, but merely questions to satisfy my curiosity. Of interest is the business relevance and feasibility of a mall built to the close proximity of another mall.

Does this make business or commercial sense, and if so, how, and if not, why?

Mr Gaula has stated that the Khayelitsha CBD development is not perceived as a gold mine for a few selfish interests, who benefitted from the sale of the land to Isivivana Centre, as per the land agreement with the City or if you facilitated the sale how much did you gain?

I hope these questions will help the community to understand KCT’s role and be informed of it.

Sipho Vanga Khayelitsha

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