The City of Cape Town has again set its sights on turning Moquet Farm in Diep River into a carbon-neutral mixed development, after mothballing the plan last year.
The 2.4 hectare site is bounded by Main Road, Kendal Road, Myburgh Road and Greenland Road in Diep River.
In a statement last week, the City said it would participate in the second round of the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme, a worldwide competition for carbon-neutral developments.
Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said the programme used demonstration projects to transform underused urban sites into beacons of zero-carbon emissions and resilient development.
“Should the City decide to make the land available for development, the bidders will need to submit design proposals that minimise the amount of energy a building uses for heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, ventilation, electrical services, and so forth.
“The projects will have to reduce energy demand, use energy efficiently and use renewable energy, or low-carbon energy, and the bidders will compete for the right for their proposal or design to be implemented.”
Cape Town is a signatory to C40, a global network of large cities that commit to developing and implementing policies to address climate change.
Apart from environmental and climate-smart benefits, Ms Niewoudt said that each proposal had to show how the community would benefit from the development.
The City is calling on Capetonians to comment on the proposal.
Jenny Fourie, who rents the house which lies in the centre of Moquet Farm, said she had been living on the property for more than 40 years and no one had consulted her about any development proposal. She had only heard about it for the first time in the Bulletin article last year (“Affordable housing plans put on hold,” October 25, 2018)
City documents say the tenant has not been given notice but would “be requested to vacate if she is in breach of her contract, or when the property is required for municipal purposes”.
Ms Fourie said she was worried because she would have nowhere else to go should be be told to vacate.
“My husband died 11 years ago, and I don’t have any family here. It’s just my stepdaughter who visits every week. Where will I go?”
Chairman of the Bergvliet/Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association Mark Schafer said that, in principle, they would be in favour of the development of the land if it was in line with the sentiments expressed by Ms Niewoudt that, “Whatever is proposed must enhance the urban environment and improve the quality of life for residents from the area. It must be safe, convenient, and attractive.”
Mr Schafer said that while the ratepayers’ association welcomed the attempt to promote carbon-neutral development, they believed that the City should concentrate on promoting a carbon-neutral transport system that alleviated the congestion on the roads and rail services instead.
Mr Schafer said reducing the number of carbon-emitting vehicles on the roads would have a greater environmental benefit.
And improving the transport network would do more to promote access to job opportunities and services than “piece-meal eco-friendly urban development”.
The City has also identified sites in Athlone, Mitchell’s Plain and Goodwood for similar development.
“Together, these sites comprise approximately 40 hectares. The combined market value of the sites is
R316 million. By making available the sites to the private sector for development we can ignite much needed urban renewal in these areas, economic growth, and job creation,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.
The deadline for public comment is Sunday September 8.
Visit www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay or your local sub-council and library to view the proposal.