A proposal by ward councillor Angus McKenzie to have the status of Bonteheuwel changed from a township to a suburb has sparked debate in the Cape Flats community.
The councillor will table a motion at the monthly sub-council meeting next week where he will call on his fellow councillors to support him and vote in favour of the proposed reclassification.
McKenzie says Bonteheuwel was classified as a township under the Group Areas Act in the 1960s when coloured people were moved out of areas like Claremont and District Six as these areas were deemed white only.
According to McKenzie it was termed a township because it was an underdeveloped, racially segregated area. He says there have been extensive changes in the area, from a safety and security point of view, and they have restored calm in the area.
McKenzie says they have been able to invest millions of rands to develop the area, like the housing infill project of R130 million and the planned R20 million upgrade of the CBD.
He says the proposal is also grounded on the perceptions of the community, based on how the former governments labelled Bonteheuwel residents.
“The past labelled them as a township, the future must label them as a suburb. They have what other communities have. We have the parks with gym equipment like what other suburbs have,” adds McKenzie.
Grant Abrahams, of the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum, says they are studying the reasoning given in the motion, and some of the statements made by McKenzie and no opinion has been formed as yet.
Abrahams says that there are 69 officers who are split across Bonteheuwel, Kalksteenfontein and Bishop Lavis and not 100 as McKenzie states.
He claims the upgrade of the CBD has not yet happened, so calling it a suburb, but it won’t change the reality which is the unemployment rate, the crime rate and there is still a lot that needs to be done.
Residents have responded to McKenzie’s social media posts, some supporting his motion while others questioned whether the re-classification would improve service delivery.
The motion will be tabled on 16 October.
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