Brett Herron is the Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development City of Cape Town.
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Brett Herron

Council recently approved the City of Cape Town’s revised Built Environment Performance Plan (BEPP), and will spend its capital budget in the next financial year creating public transport corridors for affordable housing. 

These are the investments in major capital projects and interventions to address the legacy of apartheid spatial planning. From July 1, the City will spend the bulk of its R6,8 billion capital budget on projects located within three Integration Zones (IZs) across Cape Town. Given that we are using public transport to achieve a more compact, efficient and sustainable city, it only makes sense that Cape Town’s major public transport corridors form the backbone of these integration zones.

As such, much of the BEPP is focused on these three integration zones and their importance in transforming the City’s spatial structure by:

  • Linking Khayelitsha and Kuils River by rail
  • Linking the metro-south east and the Cape Town CBD with improved road-based public transport
  • Linking the Bellville, Maitland, Parow, Goodwood and Salt River CBDs with the Cape Town CBD via the Voortrekker Road corridor

By prioritising dense, transit-oriented growth and development in these IZs, the City seeks to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport.

We will, in line with our transit-oriented development strategic framework (TODSF), identify housing opportunities closer to our MyCiTi stations and rail stations in these integration zones.

The BEPP also emphasises the capital investment required from the Provincial and National Governments and State-owned entities to transform Cape Town’s spatial form and to address the dire need for housing and the high cost of public transport.

Cape Town

The first integration zone prioritised the Blue Downs IZ, which has a commitment by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to invest in a R5 billion double-track 9 km rail link between the Nolungile station in Khayelitsha and the Kuils River station.

The second IZ will spatially link Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha with the Cape Town CBD. 

Nearly 40% of Cape Town’s population reside in the metro it has the highest densities in the city – above 100 units/ha – and is home to the largest concentration of people considered most vulnerable in terms of income, wealth, education and access to basic services.

It makes sense that we prioritise our expenditure to stimulate economic activity and development in this area. Almost R2,4 billion will be spent on capital projects in the metro integration zones  by all spheres of government from the current financial year up to 2018/19.

Similar principles apply to the Voortrekker Road Corridor Integration Zone (VRCIZ), which hosts the business districts of Bellville, Maitland, Parow, Goodwood and Salt River.

There is significant potential for renewal and redevelopment given the excellent location of the VRCIZ and the diverse range of land uses in terms of residential, commercial, retail, industrial and public facilities.

We will focus on the spatial restructuring of the VRCIZ by addressing the public transport capacity constraints and freight movement along Voortrekker Road and the inefficient and unproductive use of public land.

Bellville is Cape Town’s second CBD, with five hospitals and three university campuses located within the central area. The provision of affordable rental housing is a vital component of our strategy – first of all to prevent gentrification, secondly to achieve spatial transformation, and thirdly to ignite urban renewal.

Over the next two financial years we will invest an estimated R1,4 billion in capital projects in the VRCIZ.

The BEPP has identified five priority projects within the three integration zones:

  • Athlone Power Station redevelopment
  • Revitalisation of the Bellville central area
  • Development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct
  • Paardevlei
  • Philippi East as part of the roll-out of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service 

These projects will be public-led regeneration catalysts for growth. We expect the projects to attract private sector investment in utilities, housing, commercial and retail development.

Ultimately, the outcomes will be measured in terms of improvements in urban productivity and mobility, inclusivity and sustainability, as well as in Cape Town’s ability to adapt to and overcome the challenges of rapid urbanisation.