The future of the Kraal as well as the Strand Street Quarry were discussed at a public meeting which was organised by the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association over the weekend.
The meeting, which took place on Saturday August 26, served as a follow-up to a meeting held last month at which the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation plan was discussed (“Bo-Kaap is silently suffering”, Atlantic Sun, July 27).
There were several City officials present at the meeting including mayoral committee member for area north, Suzette Little and ward councillor Brandon Golding.
At the meeting, residents also raised concerns about the maintenance of the area, recent dog attacks as well as heritage protection matters.
Ms Little, who spoke at the meeting, said the City had identified four key issues as priority matters in the area.
“One of the issues was about the heritage. There is the Heritage Overlay for the area. There are also the 19 heritage houses that have to be upgraded.”
She said while the upgrades would happen, she did not know when they would.
She also identified the Kraal and the prayer quarry as challenges, pointing out that there were plans to remove the rubble and clean up at the quarry. “There is a little garden planned for the quarry,” she added and encouraged the community to get involved and make sure that there was a plan of action for the space.
Chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association, Osman Shaboodien, said he was encouraged by the level of engagement from the City.
He said Bo-Kaap was an area that had potential, but highlighted challenges residents faced, among them the City’s new electricity tariffs, high rates, tourism and dealing with Bo-Kaap’s open public spaces including the Kraal and the Quarry. “As a community we need to decide what we’re going to do there.
“We are very encouraged that they are willing to engage with the community and look at what the conditions are. We are not saying that the City alone has to do something but they have to have the will to partner with communities in order to address certain inequalities that has been created over the generations.”
Mr Shaboodien said it was important to look at development in the area, both in terms of infrastructure and skills. As well as economic and social upliftment.
“I think that is very important and that’s why we feel encouraged.”
He said that the people of Bo-Kaap also needed to take ownership of the public spaces.
“What to do with those public spaces is a joint plan that we need to put into place. That will not only create opportunities in Bo-Kaap but will also become sustainable.”
He added that it was encouraging to hear that the City had plans to renovate 19 heritage houses in the area.
“They need to treat those people (living there) with sensitivity) because they are not new tenants and have been staying there for generations. They are the very cornerstone of Bo-Kaap.”