Cape Argus - - METRO -

REF­ER­ENCE is made to the ker­fuf­fle over the auc­tion of the Fore­shore land pur­chased by Growth­point (“Land sale doesn’t add up”, the Cape Argus, Oc­to­ber 5).

I believe that in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, the City was lucky to sell the land for such a good price, and now we squab­ble, our greed­i­ness ex­ceed­ing our bet­ter judge­ment?

An amount of R85m is bet­ter than no rand, and for how long had the land been stand­ing va­cant? Likely ever since the old power sta­tion was de­mol­ished in 1962

– 56 years ago. Just think of the ac­cu­mu­lated rates.

This huge de­vel­op­ment will bring much-needed rev­enue to the City, in the form of rates and taxes, and em­ploy­ment in the cre­ation of new jobs, yet Nd­i­funa Uk­wazi says the City must re­verse the sale, re­coup the losses (how?) and use the land in a way that ben­e­fits all the res­i­dents of the City (again, how?)

The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment will in­clude shops, apart­ments and a ho­tel, all cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment for skilled and un­skilled work­ers, from the mo­ment the first sod is turned

– is this not what our pres­i­dent has asked for, and is try­ing to achieve?

Plus, ac­cord­ing to Growth­point, this will be a world-class, iconic de­vel­op­ment that can only en­hance Cape Town – Port­side, as an ex­am­ple, has added much value to the cityscape, let alone adding to the safety of the CBD.

Tourism is the big­gest (and pos­si­bly only) growth sec­tor in our beloved coun­try, yet Nd­i­funa Uk­wazi wants to deny the tourists, who come and spend a good penny in the city, ac­com­mo­da­tion in the CBD, let alone all the busi­ness­peo­ple at­tend­ing con­fer­ences at the CTiCC, tak­ing into ac­count the prox­im­ity to the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. Pray tell, where can these per­sons stay? Ev­ery 9/10 tourists cre­ates one new job, let alone the valu­able con­tri­bu­tion made to city cof­fers.

As it is, this de­vel­oper pays over R500m p/a in rates and taxes to the city al­ready, ex­clud­ing what this new de­vel­op­ment would bring in. And these are ac­tu­ally paid, and not in ar­rears.

We can be thank­ful that we still have in­ter­est in our CBD, and look at the big pic­ture.

Where were all the naysay­ers when the CBD was go­ing down­hill post-1994? All build­ings were be­ing moth­balled and there was no in­ter­est in any new de­vel­op­ment or re­fur­bish­ment in the CBD of any kind? If it were not for the vi­sion of Robert Silke and Old Mu­tual, the CCID and the CT Part­ner­ship, the CBD would’ve gone the same way as those of Joburg, Dur­ban and Pre­to­ria.

How­ever, I note with in­ter­est that Nd­i­funa Uk­wazi have not com­mented on the R200m up­grade of Rygers­dal, where the min­is­ters pay a rental of R40 a day for a R4m apart­ment (Sun­day Times, Septem­ber 30). Think of how many homes could be built for this amount. Plus, I am sure they do not pay rates and taxes on this site.

Talk about in­equal­ity!

TERRY GALE Chair­per­son Ex­porters’ Club West­ern Cape

THE area on the fore­shore which has been pro­posed for de­vel­op­ment. The de­vel­op­ment will in­clude shops, apart­ments and a ho­tel.

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