MBDA to redevelop landmark

2019-07-03 06:02
The remaining structure of the St Peters Church in South End.Photo:Loyiso MaLI

The remaining structure of the St Peters Church in South End.Photo:Loyiso MaLI

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THE Mandela Bay Development Agency (MDBA) recently held a public meeting to discuss proposals and ideas for the upgrade and stabilisation of the remaining structure of the old St Peter’s Church in South End.

This property is located above St Mary’s cemetery, across the road from the Tramway’s building.

According to the MBDA’s project manager, Tamlynn David, they have made progress on the land and work is currently underway.

“The remaining structure of the St Peter’s Church will be done in various phases. However, we need a qualified stone mason to work on the wall surrounding the church.

“We have called this public meeting to discuss ideas on the way forward with regard to the development of this piece of land,” David said.

The public who attended the engagement discussed and reimagined the development by suggesting various ideas.

Grizel Hart, the chairperson of the Mandela Bay Heritage Trust, suggested that the redevelopment should include a restaurant.

Hart commented, “A restaurant would be perfect in this area, as it displays a fantastic view of the ocean. Also, we are concerned regarding the safety of the wall surrounding the structure and hope this will be attended to.”

South End Museum administrator, Colin Abrahams, attended the meeting and made a proposal of a multi-museum for the redevelopment.

“We need to make the community of South End aware of our rich and diverse history.

“It is also important to develop heritage areas, which represent all communities in the metro,” Abrahams said.

The St Peter’s Anglican Church was one of the landmarks affected by the forced removals. By 1972, the empty building had been vandalised.

The MBDA has since purchased the land and has carried out environmental improvements around the church including a timber walkway that provides visibility of the ruins of the church and a beautiful view of the ocean.

MBDA chief executive officer, Ashraf Adam said, “The forced removal of this community to disparate areas in the Northern East of the city destroyed the very fabric of the city and the innumerable lives in the process.

“The St Peter’s Church ruins symbolise a valuable history of the community of South End, a place where people from every walk of like congregated, worshipped together and living in peace.

“This and other considerations are why the MBDA wishes to engage with the public on opportunities for creating something special, a place of memory and a demonstration of what a post-apartheid City represents,” Adam said.

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