What to do with the Strand St quarry?

2015-05-26 06:00
Residents can now propose uses for the undeveloped Strand Street quarry.

nicole mccain

Residents can now propose uses for the undeveloped Strand Street quarry. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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A public participation process is underway to find an alternative use for the Strand Street quarry.

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

Funding was set aside in February 2013 and tender documentation was submitted to the council’s supply chain management department two months later.

But by June 2013, when the consultant team was due to be appointed, there was no more budget for it.

According to a report submitted to the mayor two years ago, the funds were all channelled to the Cape Town Stadium, even though it was expected that the R4.5m needed to kickstart the quarry plan would be sourced from funding freed up on the City of Cape Town’s adjustment budget.

This despite Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, claiming earlier this year that the City “would still like to see development happen in this area as soon as possible because of the clear opportunities and benefits this would present,” (“More quarry cash hurdles”, People’s Post, 13 February 2014).

The City is now investigating a short to medium term use for the quarry, which has been earmarked for development by Sanparks.

Sanparks is currently carrying out feasibility studies to explore using the quarry as a tourism gateway to Signal Hill and the Noon Gun, which sees a million visitors every year. The project may include the installation of a funicular – a cable railway which pulls tram-like vehicles up the rock face – or a cable car similar to the one on Table Mountain.

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson confirms the process, saying it will close on Monday 15 June.

“All comments will be considered to enable the council to make an informed decision. The site has been identified as a proposed Grade 1 national heritage site,” he says

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