Workshops lay ground work for District Six vision

Ward councillor Brandon Golding speaking at the workshop with his ward assistant Carolyn Borland in the background.

What will District Six look like once it’s redeveloped? Will it have parks, roads, libraries, new schools, retail and a connected water system?

These were some of the questions posed by ward councillor Brandon Golding at the City’s District Six neighbourhood plan meeting last week.

The City’s urban planning and design directorate held its second Local Spatial Development Framework (LSDF) workshop on Thursday October 22, simultaneously through video conferencing at five locations: the Civic Centre, the Wale Street Sub-council chambers, the Heideveld Community Centre, and the Bonteheuwel and Rocklands civic centres.

The workshops are laying the groundwork for a vision of what a future District Six will look like.

Erika Naude, the City’s director of urban planning and design, said the city council wanted to include all stakeholders in a pre-planning and pre-design process.

In a previous meeting, held last month, Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said the local neighbourhood plan would determine the look and feel of District Six long after the houses for beneficiaries had been built.

Apart from the District Six Working Committee, the District Six Reference Group, the District Six Museum, the District Six Civic Association, the District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust, the District Six Advocacy Group and the Canterbury Square Trustees, 579 people and various other organisations have registered as interested parties in the process.

The City used the 2012 District Six Development Framework in the workshop to give the interested parties an idea of what they will need to consider when contributing to the new plan for District Six.

Achmat Williams, the deputy chairman of the District Six Reference Group (D6RG), said he was worried that some might be excluded from the process because they lacked the technology to upload the City’s documents.

He also asked whether more District Six claimants could be added to the lists of participants so they too could have their say about the future of District Six.

Mr Golding, who chaired the session, said anyone with a historical connection to District Six could be added to the lists.

District Six claimant Iqram Hendricks said they needed more clarity on what the City was planning.

Mr Hendricks said the City wanted to look at a quick way to finalise the plan. “There is no use buying into their plan and then later they eventually change it,” he said.

District Six Working Committee spokesperson Karen Breytenbach encouraged all District Six claimants and all Capetonians who cared about District Six to get involved in commenting on the neighbourhood plan for District Six.

“We must use this opportunity to right some of the spatial planning and social injustices of the past, and to create a place where people can live in dignity, harmony and safety.”

District Six Civic Association chairperson Asa Salie said their organisation did not want to rubber stamp a future spatial plan too quickly.

“We first need to look at how far phase three of District Six development will be completed and then afterwards look at when the building of other restitution units take place before looking at how other open spaces can be used for spatial planning.”

All relevant District Six organisations and interested parties are to fill in forms outlining their vision for the plan, which are to be made available at the next meeting on Thursday November 26.

If anyone would like to participate in the planning of District Six they can email DistrictSix.LSDF@capetown.gov.za and click here if anyone would like to read more about all the relevant documents related to LSDF.