CHARM­ING AND CEN­TRAL

On the east­ern the slopes of Devil’s Peak, Rose­bank is ac­ces­si­ble, has a mix­ture of hous­ing stock, is close to UCT and good schools, and has the green lung of Ron­de­bosch Com­mon

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - HOME - BY BIANCA COLE­MAN

DE­FINED by three land­marks – Ron­de­bosch Com­mon, the Lies­beek River and Mostert’s Mill – Rose­bank is a cen­tral sub­urb rich in his­tory and nat­u­ral trea­sures.

Set on the lower east­ern slopes of Devil’s Peak, it is a vi­brant haven re­flect­ing the cos­mopoli­tan city that Cape Town has be­come, pro­vid­ing a unique liv­ing space for schol­ars, stu­dents, aca­demics, ac­tive fam­i­lies and se­nior cit­i­zens.

Rose­bank’s out­stand­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic is its cen­tral­ity, says Linda Gib­son, Knight Frank prop­erty con­sul­tant for the area. “It’s close to high­ways lead­ing in ev­ery di­rec­tion. Ac­cess is easy and pub­lic trans­port, both the south­ern sub­urbs train line and buses, is within in walk­ing dis­tance of the en­tire sub­urb.”

Much of the land on the moun­tain side of the rail­way line and Main Road be­longs to UCT with the rest of the sub­urb bor­der­ing on Ron­de­bosch and Mow­bray.

“Prop­er­ties in Rose­bank are so sought af­ter that when one comes on to the mar­ket it is quickly sold,” says Gib­son. “Find­ing my own home here when I moved from Joburg was very lucky.

“Rose­bank has a friendly com­mu­nal spirit, a ro­bust neigh­bour­hood watch and ac­tive com­mu­nity care or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Friends of the Lies­beek and Friends of the Ron­de­bosch Com­mon. I love liv­ing here.”

Stretch­ing from Rhodes

Drive be­low UCT all the way to Camp­ground Road and the edge of Ron­de­bosch Com­mon to the east, Rose­bank is di­vided in half by Lies­beek Park­way, the Main Road and the rail­way line. Be­low the park­way you’ll find a mix­ture of blocks of flats and de­tached houses; many of the res­i­dences in this area are oc­cu­pied by UCT stu­dents.

Pro­claimed a na­tional mon­u­ment in 1961, the com­mon was orig­i­nally used as a mil­i­tary camp (hence the name of Camp­ground Road, which bor­ders one side of the com­mon). It was here early Dutch farm­ers ral­lied be­fore the de­ci­sive Bat­tle of Blaauw­berg in 1805, and troops were reg­u­larly sta­tioned here, even up un­til World War II.

As hous­ing en­croached over the decades, steal­ing the land piece by piece, the open area steadily de­creased un­til only the cur­rent 40ha re­mained.

Those hectares are, how­ever, an im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion area for the en­dan­gered Cape Flats sand-fyn­bos veg­e­ta­tion, which ex­ists only in Cape Town. A few patches of renos­ter­veld and a sea­sonal wet­land host a hugely var­ied bio­di­ver­sity for such a small area, and this piece of land also pro­tects 110 species of bird, as well as small mam­mals, rep­tiles and am­phib­ians.

Lead­ing schools such as Bish­ops, Rusten­burg and oth­ers are “just around the cor­ner”, says Gib­son. “New­lands cricket and rugby sta­di­ums and Hart­ley­vale are 3km away as are Vin­cent Pal­lotti hos­pi­tal and Ron­de­bosch and King David Mow­bray golf cour­ses.”

The Cape Town of­fices of the Coun­cil for Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search – South Africa’s premier sci­en­tific re­search and de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion – and the South African Bu­reau of Stan­dards are also lo­cated in Rose­bank.

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