Mystery of vacant plot uncovered

If you’ve been wondering about the strange mounds on land located at the junction of Westlake and Boyes drives, chances are your imagination has run wild wondering if it’s a burial site, if aliens have arrived or if your eyes were playing tricks on you.

Some years ago, then councillor Denis Joseph of Ward 71 in which the land is located, said it was one of a number of sites identified as a possible alternative to the Ladies Mile Drop-off, which closed in September last year.

However, City officials struggled to determine ownership of the open land which has no street number, despite being able to determine an erf number for it: 13087.

“But when I check it on our system, I can’t find a piece of land that matches your description. The City doesn’t always have every single erf number on the system – that is the mandate of the Deeds Office.

“I would suggest that you check with them to determine ownership,” said the official.

The present ward councillor Penny East was also looking into it and said she thinks it belongs to SANParks.

Through one of the Bulletin’s contacts, we found that erf 13087 is not registered but was surveyed for SANParks. It was a subdivision of Portion 8 of the farm number 919, owned by the South Peninsula Municipality – now the City of Cape Town.

In 2011 the land was covered in alien vegetation, the ideal habitat for adventurous mountain bikers to build a BMX type adventure track.

It was also home to the homeless, evidenced by shacks, litter and disused clothing.

That was until Tuesday September 13, 2011, when about 20 workers were deployed to clear alien invasive vegetation. After eight weeks there was nothing left and the City said they planned to conduct follow-up clearing operations to make sure that all invasions are under control.

The City of Cape Town’s deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson said the property is landlocked in terms of access and the City’s property management department is currently considering various options to establish a viable development on it.

Should a feasible and viable option be available, the department will seek authority from council, through the normal processes and procedures, to dispose of the property or portions thereof for development purposes.

In the meantime, the mounds on site are being used for mountain bike BMX off-road jumps and ramps.

Mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said there are currently no plans to develop this erf into a drop-off site.