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City of Cape Town’s meeting on draft neighbourhood plan for District Six marked by poor attendance

The draft neighbourhood plan, or LSDF, that has been available for public comment since September 1, will be open until the end of the month. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

The draft neighbourhood plan, or LSDF, that has been available for public comment since September 1, will be open until the end of the month. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 28, 2021

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Cape Town - With only 14 people present online, the City’s meeting on the draft neighbourhood plan for District Six was marked by poor attendance.

The hybrid meeting took place online as well as at the City’s sub-council chambers in the CBD, with a handful residents present on Wednesday.

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Residents and interested parties were invited to attend the meeting where officials from the City’s urban planning and design department provided feedback on the progress made with the draft local spatial development framework (LSDF).

The draft neighbourhood plan, or LSDF, that has been available for public comment since September 1, will be open until the end of the month.

In a statement released prior, Marian Nieuwoudt, the Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said: “The City is not involved with the restitution process, but we are responsible for creating an overall spatial vision for District Six in collaboration with the District Six community, and other residents.

“The purpose of this spatial plan is to re-establish this once vibrant neighbourhood, to create a sense of belonging, and to establish a multicultural community.”

The City is also working with representatives from the District Six community in finalising a public realm study to assist in identifying the public open spaces in District Six.

The LSDF and the public realm study is City-driven and separate from the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s housing project currently under way as part of the restitution process.

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The City’s district spatial planning officer, Themba Masemula, said: “The LSDF is basically driven by the various spatial and general policy strategies that the City has.

“The most important part is to try and build an inclusive, integrative and vibrant City; to be able to manage growth and create opportunities in the most sustainable way possible.”

The final LSDF is expected to be approved by the end of June 2022.

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Masemula said a rigorous participation process and workshops were held to reach this stage.

“Some of the things that we found out was there was a need for social facilities, economic opportunities, making sure that we utilise our public spaces, and create neighbourhoods that allow for the area to protect this feeling of healing, reparation.”

Addressing a question posed, the City’s district spatial planning office manager, Nigel Titus, said there will be considerations for heritage aspects and any development has to comply with those considerations.

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District Six Civic Association chairperson Asa Salie questioned why public open spaces were being discussed when housing remains a problem in areas such as Bo-Kaap and District Six.

Association secretary Shahnaz Arnold said: “It was very short notice… I think the City of Cape Town needs to make sure, afterwards, that all of this is available to the general public and create a bigger platform for this. There are just not enough people participating.”

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