After 17 years of existence the Oude Molen Eco Village, has come under threat from the Cape Town Central City Regeneration Programme (CT-CCRP). CT-CCRP have completed an analysis of Oude Molen and Alexandra Hospital precincts known as the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP), which includes the Oude Molen property together with extensive land surrounding the Two River Urban Park wetlands area.
The Regeneration Team has proposed a TRUP development of “mega proportions” but without capital funding for the project intend starting their development strategy by allocating a large portion of Oude Molen Village for a National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), Biovac pharmaceutical research institute and Square Kilometre Array (SKA) buildings.
In essence CT-CCRP is relying on these institutions as the first anchor tenants on the Oude Molen property to attract further private capital investment for the proposed mega development of areas surrounding the Oude Molen property.
While the Tenants Association supports in principle the intended development on land surrounding the Oude Molen site, of great concern is that the proposed development on the Oude Molen site:
- Will undermine the community’s proactive role over the past 17 years to ensure that the historical legacy of the Oude Molen property since 1652 (to serve the needs of local communities and the region, continues
- Is top-down and decisions have not been transparent or involved any public participation or consultation with effected parties such as Oude Molen rent paying tenants, Maitland Garden Village residents and the City initiated Two Rivers Park organisation
- The suggested anchor tenants will require high security thereby preventing continued public access to the Oude Molen property
- The presence of large corporate business enterprises and research institutions on the Oude Molen site will prevent emerging SMEs and micro-enterprises from being able to afford premises
- The proposed excessive building footprint and densification of the property will destroy the unique ambiance, public urban park character and open space appeal that sets Oude Molen apart
- The proposed institutions require highly skilled employees and as a result will not provide employment opportunities to local and surrounding communities such as Maitland Garden Village residents
- The development and process contradicts the Provincial Governments values in terms of transparency, public participation bottom up development and constructive community partnerships
- Convincing political leaders who as joint custodians of our public assets, by supporting international best practices in terms of micro and small enterprise development and a social enterprise management model, they would have far more potential to address job creation and economic inequality and youth development in the region
A win-win solution would be for the Cape Town Central City Regeneration Programme to utilise the abandoned 22 hectare Conradie Hospital site on the border of Pinelands and Thornton for the National Health Laboratories (NHLS), Biovac Institute and Square Kilometre Arrat (SKA). This site abandoned for the past ten years is perfectly located in walking distance of Mutual and Thornton railway stations and able to offer exclusive security access for proposed research institutions.