The three Plumstead properties, situated in Waterbury, Rotherfield and Lympleigh roads, have been given the go-ahead to be demolished by the Protea Subcouncil last week.
The details of each property were included in a report to councillors. As part of the motivation, the report states: “Vacant occupation of these properties will be required for the construction of Phase 2A of the IRT project 2015.”
In addition there is a fourth report indicating the proposal to demolish a Wellington Road property in Wynberg. However, for this property councillors requested a heritage report.
Asked about the future plans for this property, the City did not comment. Meanwhile, security guards were spotted at the property in question as well as at a City-owned cottage in Tenby Road. This property has also been rumoured to be due for demolition but no report has been submitted yet.
In each report the City states it will be “relieved of the security burden” of the costs associated with hiring security officers to each property.
The approvals have sparked outrage in Wynberg with one resident claiming the City has “blatantly lied” about plans to demolish properties.
In July concerns were raised over rumours about demolitions and the chairperson of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (WRRA) Darron Araujo asked City officials for clarity.
People’s Post also asked the City whether there were plans to demolish the properties in Langley and Wellington roads.
In a written response Ian Neilson, Mayco member for finance said: “Langley and Wellington roads scheme properties are reserved for the Wynberg bypass (Provincial Main Road 132) and not earmarked for demolition at this stage.”
However the reports submitted to subcouncil include an advertisement in a daily newspaper indicating the proposed demolitions and informed residents that objections should be made by May.
When asked why officials did not indicate this to the residents who enquired about the property prior to the advertisement being placed the City did not comment.
WRRA vice-chairperson Kristina Davidson, who was present at the subcouncil meeting, says given the housing crisis facing Cape Town, the association found it “quite extraordinary” that the City was contemplating demolishing well-built, historical houses.
“The proposed demolition appears to be linked to the relief road, which we were told by the City is still at concept stage,” she said.
Davidson explains the association was informed by Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, in May that once the concept designs are concluded they will commence the detailed designs for this service.
“We were also told that the couplet road was the preferred option, but that public participation processes are still to happen,” Davidson adds.
However, she says, as the City is plans to demolish houses, it appears the relief road is the chosen option. “The proposed relief road makes no sense, as it will also destroy a well-functioning, established residential neighbourhood and negatively affect businesses along main road by turning main road into a one-way,” she adds.
When asked about the conceptual plan, the City failed to comment.