Manenberg Community Steercom and Western Cape Government reach historic consensus on urban upgrade
23 July 2018
The Manenberg Community Steercom and the Western Cape Government have reached an historic consensus on how best to deliver a major urban upgrade in that community. This follows an extensive pre-consultation process.
The upgrade includes a 594-bed Regional Hospital; a schools upgrade that will benefit 4 primary schools; and a new School of Skills for the Manenberg community and surrounds. This infrastructure investment forms part of the long-term vision to transform the urban landscape along central Manenberg into a Youth Lifestyle Campus (YLC).
The YLC will ultimately include a network of upgraded schools and after-school facilities spanning dozens of city blocks, connected by safe, well-lit promenades. In support of this vision, the City of Cape Town is currently investing in various upgrades to public infrastructure in the community, including lighting, roads and parks.
The Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) NPO has been a key partner in facilitating community input on this upgrade, which is informed by a Public Investment Framework (PIF) and Community Action Plan (CAP).
Planning and feasibility work has been ongoing since 2014/15 to advance the public investment vision for upgrading and transforming the suburb. Both the PIF and CAP represent joint agreements between City, Province, and the community on the priorities in the Manenberg upgrade.
A major challenge in making this upgrade a reality, is the limited availability of suitable land in Manenberg to deliver major infrastructure.
The most suitable property for a Regional Hospital was previously identified as the site on the corner of Duinefontein and Turfhall roads, which is currently occupied by Silverstream High and Sonderend Primary Schools.
This outcome has been the subject of an extensive pre-consultation process that has taken place between the Community Steercom, school principals, SGB representatives, the Province and City.
The purpose of this pre-consultation was to reach consensus on the formulation of a proposal on the best and most rational way to upgrade schools, ahead of any statutory consultations that may still be required.
The following scenario has emerged as the preferred option by both the Community Steercom and government:
- That Silverstream High be retained as a School of Skills (SoS) and established on the former GF Jooste Hospital site on Duinefontein road;
- That a large new primary school be constructed on the current Edendale Primary School site which it is proposed accommodate learners from both Edendale and Sonderend Primary Schools on a merged basis. The finalisation of this proposal will be subject to approval from the relevant Education authorities under the South African Schools Act, including the necessary consultation processes with these school communities, teachers, SGB’s and parents;
- That the construction of the Klipfontein Regional Hospital be accommodated on the sites currently occupied by Silverstream High School and Sonderend Primary School; and
- That the learners of Rio Grande Primary and Manenberg Primary will receive newly built schools on the properties those schools currently occupy, as was the case at Red River and Silverstream Primary schools which have already been upgraded into state-of-the-art facilities.
This scenario represents an historic consensus on a complex urban re-design process, between government and community representatives. It was achieved through multiple stakeholder consultations and a willingness to engage meaningfully from all parties.
It is not a final scenario, but forms the basis upon which plans are now being made, the final version of which will still be subject to any future consultations, as may be required by law.
In terms of the way forward, pre-construction planning has already commenced for the School of Skills, and the Rio Grande and Manenberg Primary Schools upgrades.
The School of Skills construction is due to be completed by the end of the 2021 calendar year. In the interim, the Western Cape Education Department is holding consultations on the modalities of phasing the curriculum into Silverstream High from the beginning of the 2019 school year.
The School of Skills curriculum would be implemented in parallel to the normal school curriculum during this transition period, while the school is still on its current property.
Klipfontein Regional Hospital
Significant progress has been made regarding the Klipfontein Regional Hospital, with several planning phases completed. The provincial Health Department has finalised the business case and held extensive deliberations with the national government in this regard.
Approval has since been received from national government, meaning that funding can be secured for the construction work. The hospital is a substantial investment which will be undertaken in phases, with the first phase delivering 226 beds to the community.
Subsequent phases will incorporate an additional 418 beds and will include specialised services such as paediatrics, obstetrics.
The timelines for the development of the hospital are interlinked with the school developments. Close engagement with the community will be required to ensure successful implementation.
The Regional Hospital is intended to be a facility larger than even the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain district hospitals.
This is in line with the projected healthcare demand for the broader Klipfontein area as mapped out in the Healthcare 2030 Plan.
The new Regional facility will serve as a referral hospital for surrounding communities. It will relieve pressure on the Groote Schuur, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Tygerberg, Mowbray, and New Somerset Hospital facilities, where patients are currently referred to for specialist services.
The facility will also relieve pressure from the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain district facilities, which are experiencing high demand for beds.
The provincial Health Department will engage with Health Committees in the area to keep them updated on progress.
Further details on any formal public consultations required by law will be announced at the appropriate time, as the planning phases near completion.
All role players are committed to ensuring the Manenberg Urban Upgrade continues to be an inclusive process. We owe it to future generations, to ensure that the legacy of this urban upgrade is one of enhanced safety, education, healthcare, opportunity and freedom for citizens.
Together we can transform the urban landscape in Manenberg for the better.
Issued by Michael Mpofu, Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille, 23 July 2018