Historic plans set for Manenberg
Manenberg has been identified as a key area for urban transformation. The community is plagued by gang violence and drug abuse which poses great danger to its development.
Some challenges outlined by the community include:
- lack of police and community safety forum visibility at schools and Nyanga Junction,
- high crime rates and slow response to domestic abuse,
- lack of basic services,
- lack of facilities to address the socio-economic challenges, and
- youth at risk.
We believe that positive change is possible and have taken steps to restore and rebuild the dignity and power of the Manenberg community.
With the goal of re-imagining Manenberg, Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Patricia De Lille unveiled historic plans.
Our goals and progress so far
Imagine a place of safe streets, innovative education facilities, healthcare facilities, and opportunities for training and skills development.
Together with the citizens of Manenberg, we’ve identified focus areas with this vision in mind. Our goals include:
- investment in youth,
- investment in healthcare facilities, and
- investment in safety.
We're focusing on building a youth lifestyle campus which will offer educational facilities, student accommodation, sport facilities and open green spaces.
This will be a world-class education hub spanning over 26 city blocks, with 6 learning precincts. Young people will have access to knowledge and education in cutting-edge fields including technology and media, social innovation, ecology and wellness.
At the same time, school learners will have a new and improved pedestrian and cycle network via a promenade, linking all the precincts. This improves their safety as they’ve been exposed to gang activity and illegal dumping on their way to school.
We want to transform the space and allow young people to grow in a safe and vibrant community. These facilities will form part of a learning hub or learning islands to create a safe space for learning.
We've launched our Youth Safe-Hub
The Youth Safe-Hub at Nyanga Junction is located at Intshukumo Secondary School and forms part of the Western Cape Government’s vision for a larger Youth Lifestyle Centre to service the community of Gugulethu/Manenberg.
With a focus on improving healthcare services in the community, we’ll build a regional hospital. This follows the construction of newly built facilities in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.
The hospital will replace GF Jooste, which was a district hospital. It will offer new services such as:
- gynaecological services,
- paediatric services, mental health services,
- specialised radiology, and
- orthopaedic surgery.
The community is set to be one of the best serviced public healthcare areas in the country.
The City of Cape Town plans to use the old GF Jooste Hospital site to create a safety and security policing and community training college. What does this mean for the community?
As the area is set to be a deployment base for the City’s Metro Police enforcement staff and a training college, it will be an advantage to the community to have an increased police presence.
It helps us to get one step closer to taking back the community from drug lords and gang leaders who’ve inflicted fear in the community for decades.
Already, we’ve spent R4.5 million to train auxiliary officers who will run safety kiosks in Manenberg during our first phase roll-out.
These kiosks will address sudden gang shootings and violence in the community and will provide improved law enforcement in the community.
People and infrastructure
While we have a major vision for the community, there are other current projects underway. Some of these include:
- free internet access through SmartCape facilities and the community library,
- the rehabilitation of Klipfontein Road to improve infrastructure in the community,
- improved parks to create a safe space for children to play,
- the implementation of the Smart Trees programme to add greenery and improve the community’s appearance, and
- a synthetic soccer pitch for young people.
The goals mentioned form part of the Public Investment Framework for Manenberg. In addition, we aim to re-establish and strengthen the connections with the community’s surrounding areas.
This is why Turfhall Road is proposed to be extended on the east side (Gugulethu and Nyanga). Moving from Claremont to Nyanga, this east-west link could trigger socio-economic development, attracting public and private investments.
The community is surrounded by Nyanga Junction and vibrant informal markets on the Gugulethu side as well as The Greens, a large sports facility for recreational activities. These areas show potential. It’s also an industrial platform which attracts workers from surrounding areas including Gugulethu and Hanover Park.
We’re also considering the potential of a Manenberg Waterfront, at Vygekraal Road to transform the space into active public spaces.
These developments are interlinked and aim to create a safe hub that encourages growth and development in the community.
The vision of the people of Manenberg has played an important role in creating these plans. To include the community we’ve:
- set up a steering committee which includes role-players such as non-profit organisations, community policing forums and ward committees,
- held a 2 day interactive Community Action Workshop with community leaders who shared their ideas for their community, and
- conducted walkabouts and feedback sessions
This is only the beginning of public consultation. The people of Manenberg will be involved every step of the way through:
- A Community Action Plan signed by government and the Manenberg Steering Committee (this is a blueprint for public participation, as decided by residents)
- Public meetings in every ward
- Consultative forums of faith-based organizations, NGO’s, SGB’s and safety stakeholders
This ensures that government and the community work together to transform Manenberg.
We’ve got plenty to do and we’re ready to take Manenberg to greater heights. Both the City and Province have planned various crucial steps to achieve these goals. We will work closely with the City and residents.
The Community Action Plan will be signed soon and public participation will be scaled up. The City has already allocated budget for Phase 1 of the development, and the work will already begin within this financial year.
We can’t do this on our own and encourage all citizens to help us as we plan and build a better Manenberg together.