Gov, community agree to upgrades

2015-08-04 06:01

The Manenberg project steering committee , the provincial government and the City of Cape Town met on Monday to announce the progress of plans for urban upgrading.

The steering committee represents the Manenberg community in all aspects of development planning, according to a joint statement by premier Helen Zille and mayor Patricia de Lille.

“A community action plan developed over the last 12 months by the steering committee is nearing completion. This plan will guide public investment in the community and become a signed agreement by all partners,” the pair announces.

The “violence prevention through urban upgrading” programme worked with the steering committee to develop the plan.

The community action plan is the result of a process that included establishing the project steering committee of representatives from a diverse range of community formations, consultation with ward committees, churches, safety partners and other stakeholder groups, walkabouts in the community to determine priorities and workshops and feedback sessions with the community to plan every aspect.

Zille and De Lille met with the steering committee on Monday last week to discuss the upgrade plan. All partners have agreed to several key inclusions, such as a regional hospital in the community, a hub of 24/7 emergency services including a satellite fire station, satellite metro police station and an ambulance and first-aid services.

Vocational schoolIn addition to a metro police training academy, all partners agree to building a vocational school in Manenberg which will offer technical training and career preparation for young residents.

The ceasefire programme in Manenberg will be based on best practice learnt in Hanover Park, be fully transparent, be run by trained staff and include psycho-social support services.

“A further major part of the Manenberg upgrade is the youth lifestyle campus. This development will link local schools into a network spanning nearly 30 city blocks, and includes six learning precincts in fields ranging from technology and media to social innovation and ecology, a well-lit promenade kept safe by social activity and trained, well-resourced law enforcement officers and Manenberg’s very own waterfront, linked by a safe route to a ‘high street’ promoting scores of small businesses,” they say.

“In 2011 we introduced a programme focusing on the regeneration of areas that needed urban upgrading. The areas selected for inclusion in this project were informed by the City’s commitment to redress and to overcoming many generations of spatial and economic exclusion. Based on these criteria, Manenberg was the very first area to be included in the programme, along with Hanover Park, Lotus Park, Bishop Lavis, Valhalla Park, Bonteheuwel, Athlone, Atlantis, Kuyasa, Ocean View and Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre.”

Since then, numerous interventions were made in Manenberg, which includes more than R200m spent on upgrades to City-owned rent properties and R40m approved to pay for the extras which were incurred due to the delays caused by gangsterism, crime and the viability of the contractor.

“A total of R5.5m was spent on a synthetic pitch to bring a world-class sports facility to the area. We have also committed to investing in excess of R274m over three financial years for the upgrading of concrete roads in Gugulethu, Manenberg, Heideveld and Bonteheuwel to provide residents with easier, safer and more efficient access to economic and other opportunities.”

The City approved the following budget allocations for Manenberg for this financial year: R1.5m for the “ceasefire programme” to start, R1.5m for the outreach programme for youth at risk, R750 000 for social crime prevention programmes, a capital budget investment of R29m over a period of three years for the youth lifestyle campus and a capital budget investment of R20m for non-motorised transport over a period of three years starting now and ending in the 2017/18 financial year.

“As the next step, all partners will finalise the community action plan and then government departments will commit budgets to public investment in Manenberg.”

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