Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaamu alaikum, shalom.
It gives me great pleasure to address you all today as we open this exhibition where we will be making history in finding a solution to the unfinished bridges.
When I became the mayor in 2011, I pledged to do something about the unfinished bridges as a legacy project and not leave the area unchanged for another 50 years.
No mayor has ever attempted to deal with the unfinished bridges and I would like it to be part of my legacy.
The City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan led to the establishment of a new directorate, the Transport and Urban Development Authority, whose key role is to drive urban development.
The Foreshore Freeway Project is one of the five transit-orientated development (TOD) projects we have identified in the city which will see economic and residential development located closer to transport corridors.
The TOD strategic framework will reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and redress the injustices of the past by stopping long travelling distances and urban sprawl by bringing people closer to residential and work opportunities.
So in June 2016 we made the call to the private sector to submit ideas for the unfinished highways on the western, central and eastern side of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct which have been part of the Cape Town city landscape for nearly five decades now.
In the 1970s, at the time when engineers designed the freeways and embarked on the ambitious roads project, the traffic flowing into and out of the city was not nearly at the level that we are experiencing today.
Apart from being an eyesore, the unfinished freeways are also preventing the development of prime City-owned land – known as the Foreshore Freeway Precinct – that is locked in under and between the existing highways and the harbour.
In July 2016, we issued a document calling on prospective investors and developers, or a consortium, to provide us with a solution which will address the congestion and provide affordable housing.
This document – called the Prospectus for the Development of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct – provided interested parties with all of the necessary information about the City-owned land that we will make available to the private sector in return for the provision of road infrastructure to address congestion and affordable, inclusive housing that will drive sustainable economic growth.
Our Integrated Development Plan (IDP) sets various objectives such as leveraging the City’s assets to drive economic and social development and stimulate job creation.
In leveraging City assets, the City will be the catalyst investor in these projects to create a ‘crowding in’ effect by the private sector.
The excuse by any government that they do not have the resources to deal with apartheid spatial planning is unacceptable.
We have shown that the costs can be carried by the private sector following our contribution to provide the land.
To deal with apartheid spatial planning and urbanisation, we need to be innovative and forward-thinking to make this great city even greater.
This is a testament to our commitment to redressing the imbalances of the past and to providing residents with inclusive housing opportunities.
This is the beginning where we are starting with the TOD projects in the CBD and we will follow this approach with four other developments in Paardevlei, Athlone, Bellville and Philppi where residents will be part of how we redesign Cape Town.
Around us today are the six ideas which made it through the initial assessment phase and I am hoping we can see some bold ideas.
I am very excited about the possibilities of this project and this exhibition will give all residents the opportunity to come and view the ideas we have received.
In closing, to quote academic Professor Nick Binedell, who said: ‘Our entire economic future will depend on cities. Economic growth is the oxygen of our democracy and cities are the engines of economic growth’.
These five major urban development projects in the city will be our contribution to the economic growth of our country.
Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi.