Budget prioritises healthy vleis, coastal upgrades along False Bay

02 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

Cape Town’s pristine coastline, waterbodies and natural areas attract millions of visitors every year who contribute to our local economy, which in turn, means growing businesses, more jobs, and better quality of life for all of us who call Cape Town home.

The Daily Telegraph recently ranked Cape Town as ‘the third best city on the planet’. For me, Cape Town is the best home one can ever get, for we are spoilt with natural beauty and heritage resources that will benefit us and our visitors if being looked after and cared for.

The budget for the Spatial Planning and Environment Directorate reflects our commitment to protect our natural resources; to improve infrastructure along our coastline, in particular those along False Bay; and to improve service delivery to all communities, regardless of where they live.

The operational budget for the new financial year starting 1 July 2022 amounts to R1,273 billion; and the capital budget is R217 million, with an additional R650 million for planned projects in 2023/24 and 2024/25.

Some of the highlights of the budget are as follows:

  • R69 million for projects to improve the quality of life of communities in need – these are the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Projects residing under the Deputy Mayor
  • R18,2 million for Green Jobs and the clearing of invasive plants
  • R21,5 million to rehabilitate and improve the health of our vleis and wetlands
  • R88 million for upgrades at Fisherman’s Lane and the Strandfontein boardwalk, Monwabisi beach, Seaforth beach, Muizenberg beachfront, Table View beachfront and Milnerton beachfront
  • R7,25 million to improve online submissions of development applications and building plans

The upgrade and improvement of coastal facilities at popular beaches is a priority. Once complete, the new facilities will add to the joy and improved living conditions of our local communities, and promote Cape Town’s coastline as a world-class destination. The protection of infrastructure along the coast is also becoming more critical with the impact of climate change, and subsequent unpredictable weather. Some of the projects include the rehabilitation of the sea walls at Small Bay, Strand, and the Sea Point Promenade.

When we took office, we made a commitment to restore the health of our vleis and wetlands. This directorate alone, has budgeted R21,5 million over the next three years for equipment and work to improve the water quality of our inland waterbodies.

The assessment of development and building plan applications is a vital component of our service delivery to residents and the development industry. No city can function without the appropriate and efficient regulation of the development and land use sector.

It is our job to ensure the right development happens in the right place, and that buildings and land are used in accordance with its zoning. While we need to regulate this environment as stipulated by the Municipal Planning By-law, it is equally important that we do all we can to reduce red tape, and make it as seamless as possible to submit applications to the City for assessment. As such, we will invest about R7,2 million in the new financial year to further enhance and streamline the online submissions process to improve service delivery.