Conflict over bus route

2019-02-26 06:01
South Road in WynbergPHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

South Road in WynbergPHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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The ongoing battle between the City of Cape Town and a group of aggrieved Wynberg residents over a pending MyCiTi route in the neighbourhood shifted into higher gear last week when the City unanimously approved an R800m plan for the project.

Two weeks ago, Mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase, revealed plans for the project, adding that it would hopefully alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

However, the plan has not been well received by the community.

Clive Muller, the spokesperson the South Road Families’ Association, said residents had rejected the plan. He said they have been calling for public participation and transparency in the process “as approved by the court”.

He said there had still been no response and the City had ignored the court ruling, which they are prepared to raise again.

In terms of the plan, the Portfolio Committee for Transport’s recommendation will now serve before Council for final approval and, should Council endorse the recommendation, the City’s Transport Directorate will commence with the detail design of the new transport infrastructure in the Greater Wynberg area.

The MyCiTi service will create a direct route between the Metro South-east and the Wynberg PTI via Wetton Road and create a MyCiTi trunk route along Ottery and South roads, which will reportedly serve three rail stations – Wittebome, Ottery and Wynberg.

According to reports, the City plans to demolish its properties to allow a wider area that will enable the free flow of the development.

And to do this, some houses in South Road will reportedly be demolished and families will have to relocate. This affects 30 families living in South Road who then raised their concerns, resulting in the matter being taken to the Western Cape High Court.

Some of these families have lived in the area for several years but they were once allegedly issued notices of eviction back in 2014 before the City started demolishing some of its properties.

Due to concerns, the families formed the South Road Families Association which is eligible to handle the matter. However, over the years a few residents have left and now the association remains with 26 families. Among the objections raised by this association are: consideration of the history of the families in the area; and South Road being nowhere near the interchange in which the proposed route will be linked, leading to the families proposing an alternative route to be considered. They propose that the route comes from the Wetton side into Rosmead to Brodie Road down to the interchange or otherwise from Strandfontein Road towards Ottery into Rosmead leading to the interchange.

Muller said the recent announcement of readiness came as a surprise to the association. He said there is no transparency and the views of the affected families are being undermined.

Muller said they now live with uncertainties, which “is not nice for anyone. There are elderly people who have lived in the affected properties for over 30 years. I have been here for the shortest.”

James Vos, Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management, said it should be noted that residents have not been given notice to vacate.

“With those who are in arrears, the City is following the normal debt management action and the relevant legislation will apply. This will depend on the legal process with regard to debt management. We are only dealing with City-owned properties.”

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