Access road still on the cards

The strip marked in red illustrates the piece of land that is to be used as a public access road to the planned schools in the area.

The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works has responded to uncertainty about the sale of a piece of land in Table View.

Questions have been raised about the proposed development at Canary Crescent. Erf 38599 is set to become a four-storey block of flats in the future, if the developers have their way.

Residents have been fighting to stop the development since the first application to rezone the land was submitted in 2014. They argue that the development will overburden ageing roads, sewers and water pipes in the area

In 2011, the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform transferred the 2.4-hectare erf 38599 to the Flandorp Family Property Trust to settle a land restitution claim. The Flandorp family lost their properties in Goodwood, Parow and Elsies River during apartheid’s forced removals.

But opponents to the development are also unhappy about the provincial government’s decision to sell a strip of land adjacent to erf 38599 to the Flandorp trust at what they say was well below the land’s market value. That 0.5 hectare, 10m wide strip (erf 38598) was meant to have been used to build an access road to reach future schools on a nearby 5.2ha tract of provincial government land (erf 9556), they say.

The Flandorp land lies on one side of the 0.5 hectare strip and the 5.2ha government land lies on the other.

In May of 2019, the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works sold the strip to the Flandorp trust for R150 000. It was consolidated into the Flandorp’s existing holding, for a total of 2.9ha.

Some residents, like Brendan Sharpe, feel they are losing out on a road that would have helped to ease congestion in the area.

“The surrounding streets in that area are very busy as there are other schools and projects in the works. Congesting these roads with more traffic and not having this intended access road will be a nightmare and an accident waiting to happen,” he said.

But in a letter addressed to Table View residents, Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says the land was sold to the Flandorp trust on condition it wasn’t used for anything other than an access road.

“The zoning of the land would change from Community 1 to Public Services 1 and the province would only sell it on the basis that future development thereon would be prohibited for anything but a road and associated access services. The proposed road would benefit erf 9556 where two schools are envisaged in the future,” he notes.

Addressing the issue of the R150 000 sale price, Mr Madikizela said: “This must be viewed within context i.e. a land restitution claimant, seeking to purchase a sliver of land on which to build a road and so provide public access via a road that will ultimately assist the future owner/user of the remainder of erf 9556 too.”

Currently on erf 9556, there is a temporary school with 10 mobile units with eight classrooms, according to Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

“The school is being expanded by a further three classrooms to accommodate the learner enrolment for 2021. The school had 203 learners in 2020 spread over Grade 1 – 4,” she said.

Permanent schools on that land were not envisaged for at least another three years due to budget constraints.