Changing the face of the city

The legacy of apartheid spatial planning has come under fire with the recent evictions witnessed in Woodstock and Salt River.

The City has now re-evaluated the lay of the land and has come up with a plan to redress development flaws to create a more inclusive city.

The release of the Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) for public comment on Sunday July 30, details the City’s plan to rethink development form, scale and location within the CBD as well as transportation measures to create an efficient and integrated transport system.

The plan will be put in place as a development guide in Cape Town and identifies integration zones along main transport corridors where it will encourage public investment and development.

Transit zones identified for development include Claremont, Wynberg and areas adjacent to the N1, N2, N7, and M5 and R27 highways.

Road corridors where the City will pursue Transit Oriented Development (TOD) include the Main Road in the southern suburbs and Woodstock and Pinelands railway areas.

“‘The MSDF is an important strategic planning instrument, it determines the spatial form we will pursue in the years ahead to create a city that is liveable, equitable, sustainable and supports the creation of economic opportunities and social inclusion.

“Going forward, the City will prioritise development within the urban inner core.

“We must unlock development which can create large-scale economic opportunities within close proximity to areas of social need. It is a long-term priority to raise city-wide densities and reduce the average transport costs,”said Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development.

Mr Herron said that 18 400 hectares of land has been identified within the city for the creation of low-income communities on the outskirts of Cape Town which will alleviate transport cost for many.

Diverse development will be focused on which has a mix of commercial and residential properties around 98 rail stations and 42 MyCiTi stations.

This is done to increase accessibility to transport.

“The majority of lower-income households live on the periphery of the city, travelling long distances and spending nearly half of their monthly income on transport. These households are situated in highly dense, under-serviced areas.

“‘These issues’ coupled with worsening traffic congestion and ongoing development on the outskirts of the city where land is cheap, make living and working in Cape Town increasingly unsustainable and expensive,” said Mr Herron.

Mr Herron said the main focus of the MSDF is to re-evaluate apartheid spatial planning and build integrated communities with different types of residential developments for different income groups in accessible areas.

Mr Herron said where development happens and the form it takes has a long-term effect on residents’ quality of life, it can either affirm entrenched inequalities and inefficiencies, or correct imbalances created by apartheid spatial planning.

The public can access the draft MSDF at the City’s libraries or on the City’s website at

The closing date for public comment is Tuesday September 26.