Update on the proposed Molteno Reservoir Water & Sanitation Hub project

An important message from the Molteno Reservoir Heritage Association:

Dear concerned neighbours,

 You have not heard from the Molteno Reservoir Heritage Association (MRHA) in a while. We have been hard at work behind the scenes and would like to give you an update.

 After we raised concerns about the possible building project, some City of Cape Town officials tried to refute our concerns and accused us of an “alarmist agenda”. To avoid frustration we followed due process to uncover more information.

The top 5 things that you need to know are:

  1. Our Ward Councillor who initially called the project a ‘refurbishment’ later reclassifies it as “potential building and infrastructure upgrades” which is “far away from implementation” and will “include extensive community engagement at the appropriate time”and that residents need to “wait for the public notice of any development at this site and then evaluate the proposed designs”.
  2. CoCT announced the official budget allocation for this project at the Ward 77 Draft Budget 2024/2025 CBO meeting on 25 April 2024.
  3. MRHA was tipped off about undue process regarding CoCT’s NID (Notice of Intent to Develop) to Heritage Western Cape (HWC).
  4. A Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for the official plans was submitted, as MRHA, as an official heritage association, should’ve been supplied the NID plans.
  5. The received plans, which can be viewed here, were submitted under Section 38 of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA), but should’ve submitted under Section 34, as this current plan proposal will allow a building older than 60 years to be demolished, and two historic Grade IIIB buildings on Molteno Road, namely Radnor (the Pride Shelter site) and Pinewood (the adjacent Molteno Road building, closer to the reservoir entrance), will both be adapted and incorporated into the new facility.Section 34 requires a consultation process during which comment could have been raised and conditions could have been proposed.

What does all of this mean?
The City has not been forthcoming with its plans and due process was not followed. The more progress the City makes in its attempt at approval here, the more funding it will invest in this futile project and the more committed it will be to focus its intentions on this site – a site that is wholly inappropriate for such a usage. Valuable City funds will thus be wasted on an ill-advised project that will not be tolerated by the local community.

The City needs to find a new site elsewhere – NOW –  before wasting anymore of our funds. This is, after all, a National Heritage Precinct, and it is in a suburban area. Can you imagine the increased noise pollution, the increased light pollution at night, the increased traffic flows on an already problematic road. There are many other sites the City can look at that are far more appropriate for a WATER AND SANITATION HUB. We need to stop the project now, before further millions of rands are wasted. Additionally, where an old building is demolished and a new structure is built, the approval process going forward, in terms of second and third phases, although not proposed now, becomes ever more likely and easy to approve and build due to precedent being set. Phase 1 plans only soon become PHASE 2…

Next steps
MRHA, through our professional team of heritage architects and lawyers, is demanding answers from various parties regarding improprieties, as this project instils no trust and no care in our suburb.

We need your help
The MRHA committee is run by passionate individuals who have been working on this project for 7 months, but we urgently need:

  1. Greater awareness
    We need more parties to be aware of this project. Please refer everybody that needs to know to:
    Our website https://mrha.co.za/
    Subscribe to receive updates: https://mrha.co.za/subscribe
    Get in touch: [email protected]
  1. Financial support
    While we freely give our time, there are hard costs involved to this cause, like attorneys and heritage architects. Every little bit makes a huge difference to help us continue the good fight.
    Follow this link to our SnapScan page, or to make a transfer via EFT, please use the below bank details:
    Account name: Molteno Reservoir Heritage Association
    Bank: Nedbank
    Account type: Cheque
    Account number: 1274535956
    Payment reference: We would love to acknowledge your contribution, so please include your name and street as your reference.

Thank you for your support and interest.


Best,
MRHA

 

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