The development of a “new city” on the West Coast is essential. Critics argue that the development will create more problems than it would solve. In my opinion, those who complain have no realistic alternative and seem obstructionist. That the “new city” will be close to Koeberg Power Station is obvious. Do critics realistically expect that there will never be development in this location? Since the Cape is not sovereign from the rest of South Africa or Africa, where do the critics expect the millions of impoverished migrants flowing into the city to be housed? In Ryland’s, Lansdowne, Kensington, Woodstock, Bo-kaap and many other suburbs, there are ghettos full of filthy and degrading shacks. These people have to be housed elsewhere as the residents of the affected suburbs pay massive rates for the privilege of living there.

Pretending that all Capetonians are socially and economically equal is delusional. No family in the suburbs, not even townships residents want shacks near their homes. The recent land invasion near Mitchells Plain created a serious concern about safety and security as well as property values.

Originally when Mitchells Plain was built, politically, people resisted the idea. Apartheid planning and racialism were punted about. What would have happened, had Mitchells Plain not been built, where would the one million current residence have lived? By building this “new city”, work opportunities will be created and those who desire upward mobility can sell their property in Mitchells Plain and Delft and move to the West Coast. This will allow the employed underclass mobility to move from the periphery of the shack lands and backyards into the townships. Developers maybe motivated by their own material advantages, however, it is this very greed that often encourages overall progress.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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