At the public meeting held on Wednesday 15 October 2014 at Church on Main, 3 Millbank Road, Wynberg, the clear message was that Wynberg residents do not support the South Road/Brodie Road couplet scheme, which has been disguised as a MyCiti route.
There was a sense of disbelief and outrage that the City should be demolishing houses, and in the process making 30+ families homeless, destroying heritage houses and displacing established, close-knit communities – for a road that is neither wanted nor needed.
Integrated public transport networks are about integrating and complementing existing public transport modes, not building major roads based on schemes that date from the 1950s and 1960s, when cities were designed for private motor vehicles, not for public transport, said WRRA chair Kristina Davidson.
Representatives from across the Wynberg East and West communities were present at the meeting, from business to residents and taxi associations. Davidson gave a presentation that provided some background information (presentation 15 Oct 2014). A video of the route of the proposed Brodie Road couplet was shown, as well as maps of the proposed South Road/Brodie Road couplet route.
Some points that emerged from the discussion:
- The City seems to have made up its mind that the road will be constructed with or without public approval, as tenders for the road have already been advertised. The maps came from the City’s Tender No. 59C/2014/15: Provision Of Professional Services In Respect of The Design & Construction Of Phase 2A Infrastructure: Trunk & Feeder Support Infrastructure (East & West). The tender documentation clearly shows the road that the City keeps telling us is “being conceptualised” as the MyCiti route. This tender was advertised in the Cape Times on the 5 September 2014. Despite this evidence, our ward councillor, Elizabeth Brunette, told the meeting that the conceptual design was not complete.
- Who is telling the truth? The taxi association representatives said they were surprised at the level of opposition to the road, as they had been told by the ward councillor at a transport interchange meeting that Wynberg West supported the proposed road. The councillor denied saying this.
- What will happen to evicted families? The City is not obliged to provide alternative accommodation for the families who have received notice to vacate their properties within three months because their leases contain a clause about the road. The fact that families have lived in their homes for over 40 years seems to be considered irrelevant.
The meeting decided that the way forward is for all stakeholders and communities from East and West Wynberg to unite in their opposition to the proposed road scheme.