Cape Town scraps R8-billion Foreshore project

Artist Impressions

CAPE TOWN- The City of Cape Town has decided to scrap the multi-billion rand plan to revitalize foreshore and resolve the problem of the city centre’s unfinished freeways.

On Wednesday City’s manager Lungelo Mbandazayo said the decision was taken after their choice of Mitchell du Plessis Associates the preferred bidder for the project but experienced problems with them.

The whole bidding process was covered in controversy, Mbandazayo said that they received many appeals and objections since February after they announced du Plessis Associates as their bidder, “contested the application of the evaluation criteria as set out in the request for proposals documentation”.

He added: “Having received legal advice‚ the city concluded that a lack of sufficient clarity in the request for proposals documentation rendered the evaluation criteria vague.

“Procurement processes must be compliant with the rule of law. There must be no doubt about the integrity of these processes and‚ as such‚ I have decided to cancel the request for proposals.

“Furthermore‚ the economic outlook for the country has become significantly weaker since the issuing of the request for proposals two years ago. This change‚ together with the additional burdens that the city‚ its ratepayers‚ and residents are facing at the moment‚ cannot be ignored.

“The city is‚ therefore‚ reconsidering the future of this project‚ and we will communicate further once a decision has been made.”

There are many unfinished highways in the city centres, he said, “MDA proposes to complete the unfinished highways‚ and to finance or cross-subsidise the new roads and affordable residential units through the development of upmarket and mid-market residential units‚” the city council said in February.

Vanessa Watson‚ professor of city planning in the School of Architecture‚ Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town‚ said, “There was a big emphasis [in the criteria] on affordable housing‚ on addressing the problems of the apartheid city and spatial segregation‚ acknowledging the historic and cultural nature of Cape Town. The project put forward this week did not meet one of these criteria.

“It is another upmarket housing estate‚ creating a wall between Cape Town and the sea. We must be the last city in the world suggesting the completion of our elevated freeways rather than take them down to ground level. There is no recognition of history or place‚ which is what attracts tourists here after all. Architects seem to think we should be copying Singapore or Shanghai.”

Dr Lisa Kane‚ honorary research associate at UCT’s Centre for Transport Studies‚ also highlighted allegations of mismanagement regarding the project evaluation process.

“Nothing about this [successful bidder] announcement rectifies that disquiet. If evaluation processes are objective and technically robust‚ then why are they not in the public domain‚ for public scrutiny?”

Photo Credit- Times LIVE

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