Pelican Park residents are desperately appealing to the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for “much needed schools” to be built before the start of Phase 2 of the housing project.
This had been included in the plans during Phase 1, which was the New Horizon project, but not carried out.
Work on a service road parallel to Strandfontein Road is currently in progress to prepare for the Pelican Park Phase 2 housing development.
However, the Pelican Park Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Assocation (PPRRA) is trying to attract the City’s attention to try and prevent them from making the same mistakes as they did in Phase 1 where residents complained of building problems and a lack of proper infrastructure after its completion.
According to Malusi Booi, mayoral committee member for human settlements, Phase 2 will be a mixed-use residential development of RDP, Gap and Breaking New Ground housing.
“In the event that there are no delays and all phases are completed according to the programme timeline, the construction of civil services and internal roads is scheduled to commence during the second quarter of 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2024.”
Shamsodien Ahmed, vice-chairperson of the PPRRA, said the proposed housing south of Pelican Park is of concern. “Our predecessors requested that the City give dignified houses for the people but they still chose to cram the people in like sardines in very inferior quality houses.”
When New Horizon development Phase 1 started five years ago many people who were living in backyards or on the streets became homeowners as beneficiaries of the project. However, Southern Mail has reported on the problems they have encountered such as flimsy window frames and doors.
Tammy Daniel, public relations officer of PPRRA and member of the Pelican Park Primary School School Governing Body (SGB), said people need
homes but it’s important for the City to consult with the com-
munity regarding the type of homes, infrastructure, road development and transport needed.
She said Pelican Park Primary School used to accommodate 400 pupils but this has increased to 1 000 pupils and 80% come from New Horizon, which is situated adjacent to the school.
“They had to build 10 more classrooms on the playgrounds. Not only is there a congestion during break times and dismissal, but toilet facilities need to be upgraded all the time and fund-raising is a continuous struggle for the school.
“Petty crimes in schools, major crimes, drugs, alcohol and gang violence in New Horizon is also infiltrating into Pelican Park.”
When asked if there were any plans for a school in Phase 1, Ms Booi said: “Currently there are two school sites included on the Phase 1 project site (at the corner of 14th Avenue and Strandfontein and on the corner of Babbler and Oystercatcher). The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) was informed of the provisions which were made at the outset of the project.
Asked if there was a plan for schools in Phase 2, Mr Booi said: “The planning process will determine whether it is appropriate for a school to be included in the development; and, considering there are already two existing school sites that still need to be developed, the City will ensure that the WCED is kept informed of the need to develop previously allocated school land.”
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Shâfer, said the need for an additional primary school in Pelican Park was identified.
A project called the New Pelican Park PS is included in their long-term plans.
“The development of a formal residential area does not automatically imply the immediate need for a school facility. In most cases, those people who have been earmarked to move into a new development such as this are from the area with their children already enrolled in the schools in the area.”
She said in the meantime, the WCED did expand Pelican Park Primary School by 10 classrooms.
“School sites were made available in the first phase of the development, but does not imply the immediate development of a school.”
She said the need for infrastructure is determined by a number of factors, including replacement of inappropriate building material, security and fencing needs, maintenance and repairs as well as the need for classroom space.
“All of these are severely hampered by budgetary constraints,” said Ms Shelver. She said current admissions information shows there is no immediate pressure for space in the area.
“The situation is, however, monitored and managed accordingly. With the availability of a site as stated (albeit City-owned) it makes it easier for an urgent intervention in the form of a mobile school should the need arise in future.”