Upgrade for Bonteheuwel town centre

The City of Cape Town handed over the site to the contractor for the R6.1 million upgrade to Bonteheuwel’s town centre.

Bonteheuwel residents have welcomed the City of Cape Town’s R6.1 million upgrade to the area’s town centre.

Grant Twigg, mayoral committee member for urban management, officially handed over the site to the contractor on Wednesday October 7.

Just last week, the Athlone News reported on Freedom Square, which is in the town centre, being declared a provincial heritage site(“Freedom Square declared a heritage site,” Athlone News, October 7).

The R6.1 million will be used for the first phase of the upgrade during the 2020/21 financial year.

This money will be used for the upgrade of existing fencing, the construction of additional fencing as well as vehicle and pedestrian gates. It will also be used to renovate the City-owned double-storey building that accommodates doctors’ rooms, offices and shops.

Nadia Mayman De Grass, chairperson of the Bonteheuwel Ratepayers’ and Tenants’ Association (Brata), said they welcomed the upgrade.

“We are happy about the upgrade and welcome development to the area, as long as the City keeps consulting with all the relevant stakeholders in the area. Nothing about us without us, is what we are saying,” Ms Mayman De Grass said.

Ward 50 councillor Angus McKenzie said the project had been driven by the people of Bonteheuwel and that it would be turned into a centre the residents could be proud of.

“For the fencing phase of the upgrade, a total of 10 people will be employed. Of the 10, five people from the community will be employed and they will be drawn from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job database. Consistent change has been something that Bonteheuwel continues to experience and as our environment changes, our lives and future will too,” Mr McKenzie said.

Mr Twigg said the project would have started earlier had it not been for Covid-19.

He added: “I want to encourage the community of Bonteheuwel to take responsibility and ownership of this beautiful facility once complete. It is a facility to be proud of, from the architectural sketches to the designs.”

Courtney van Wyk, chairperson of Sub-council 5, said they were excited to see the project move beyond paperwork.

Mayor Dan Plato said the project was part of the mayoral urban regeneration programme (MURP) to uplift communities and improve service delivery.

“Part of the mission of cities is to create functional neighbourhoods, and we remain committed to fast-track efforts to improve the quality, safety and environment of communities in the 23 precincts identified for renewal,” Mr Plato said.

Construction of the perimeter fence is expected to start this month, while the upgrading of the double-storey building is expected to start in January next year.