Red Tape for Wescape

Controversy surrounds the new development city, Wescape, proposed for development just 15kms from Table View. The privately funded R140 billion project promotes sustainability and includes the building of 200,000 homes, libraries, schools, a university, sports facilities, a hospital, clinics and other community facilities over a 20 year period.


Half of the homes to be built in the city consist of low cost, affordable housing. It is hoped the construction of Wescape will provide job opportunities and the estimated population of the city in 20 years is a whopping 800 000.

In 2012, when the Wescape proposal surfaced, objections came from local property owners, Koeberg Power Station, the NNR (National Nuclear Regulator), the City’s disaster risk management, fire emergency services, water and sanitation, technical services, environmental resource management and the parks departments.  Professors from UCT’s city and regional planning programme slammed the development proposal saying it is short-sighted, highly speculative – and doomed to fail. The NNR warned against allowing development in this area as it falls within the 5 – 16 km radius of Koeberg’s red zone and the current evacuation process is not designed for so many people to be evacuated in an emergency situation within a suitable time frame.


In December 2012, the City Council resolved to support the Wescape developers’ application to extend the urban edge to accommodate the project. This does not mean the project has been approved for development and there’s still lot’s of red tape to cut through. Project developer, communiTgrow needs to apply for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), costing around R150 million, including several other legal authorisations before they can break ground and this may take several years, if approved.

Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, City of Cape Town,  Johan van der Merwe stated “The City of Cape Town has not approved any application for development rights for the so-called Wescape development. In fact, to date the City has not received any rezoning application nor is it aware of any EIA application having been lodged with the Western Cape Government’s Department of Environmental Management and Development Planning relating to this proposal. Should an application be submitted in future, there will be extensive public participation as is prescribed both in terms on the Municipal Planning By-law as well as the National Environmental Management Act”.

Photos: Wescape, communiTgrow
Philipp P Egli via Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)