JOINT MEDIA RELEASE BY THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN AND STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University has paved the way for the mixed development of the Bellville Park University property located along the N1 freeway. The MOA dovetails with the City’s efforts to ignite urban renewal, economic growth and job creation in Bellville. Read more below:
Stellenbosch University purchased a property of some 69 hectares (erven 23974 and 1682, Bellvile) from the former Bellville Municipality in 1982 with the specific objective of establishing a satellite campus in Bellville.
Part of the property currently accommodates the University’s Business School, the School of Public Leadership, the Division for Part-time Studies and the Bellvista Lodge, while another portion is occupied by a golf driving range and toboggan track.
The remainder of the property is vacant, although large areas of the site totalling approximately 23 ha are not suitable for urban development due to an old waste dump site and a quarry which have not been sufficiently stabilised.
‘The Memorandum of Agreement concluded between the City and the University now makes provision for the development of non-academic facilities such as offices, retail space and residential facilities on the property, in addition to academic uses as per the original purchase agreement.‘The City and University will share the net income received from the sale and/or lease of portions of the land, primarily to invest into the further development of the property,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Councillor Stuart Diamond.
‘The City and Stellenbosch University have been in discussions about the development of this property for many years. Given the importance of this strategically located gateway property, we are anxious to see it utilised and developed to its full potential. As such, the decision by both parties to take hands and to deal with this property on a partnership basis was a major breakthrough in the negotiations. We are heading into a new direction which would benefit not only the two parties, but also Cape Town’s residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.
‘The proposed development of our Bellville Park property is an opportunity for the University to unlock the potential of a valuable asset in collaboration with the public and private sectors.
‘A combination of mixed development and the expansion of the academic campus, together with the protection of substantial areas of sensitive habitat, will benefit the University, the City, the Tygerberg business community and local communities. We look forward to this innovative and mutually beneficial partnership with the City of Cape Town and other role players in the interest of economic development and financial sustainability,’ said the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Professor Wim de Villiers.
The MOA ties in with the City’s intention to revitalise the Bellville central area, inclusive of the public transport interchange.
In March 2016, the City of Cape Town’s Council adopted the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Framework which introduced a new approach to integrated spatial and transport planning.
The TOD Strategic Framework dictates the City’s approach to long-term development by prescribing how new developments across Cape Town should happen and how existing public infrastructure should be transformed to deal with apartheid spatial inequality and the high cost of public transport and urbanisation, while also stimulating economic growth.
‘Bellville has been identified as one of the priority areas where we will either invest in the improvement of existing public transport infrastructure or provide new public transport infrastructure to ignite urban renewal, economic growth, and job creation. The purpose of transit-oriented development in this instance is to create a sustainable living environment and economy in the Bellville CBD – initiated by the City through investment in public transport and followed on by private investment in new developments in the immediate vicinity and surroundings of the public transport infrastructure.
‘The MOA thus mirrors the new strategic direction that we committed to undertake when Council adopted the new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which identifies dense and transit-oriented growth as key to assisting us in building a more equitable and inclusive city,’ said Councillor Herron.
Since the conclusion of the Memorandum of Agreement, a project team with representation of both the City and the University’s administration has been established to finalise the details of a cooperative development agreement and to compile an urban design framework and a bulk infrastructure and services plan.
The development of the property is subject to various statutory approvals and the necessary applications for subdivision of portions of the property will be submitted to the City for consideration in due course.
Residents will be able to comment on these applications. The City will inform residents when we have reached this stage of the process and where and how to access the documents.