Considered response to Philippi Horticultural Area decision

Len Swimmer
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance

14 January 2014

I WISH to applaud Minister Anton Bredell for his decision in the Philippi Horticultural Area matter, where the City of Cape Town asked him to extend the urban edge to allow development on the fertile agricultural area of the PHA, on top of a well-watered aquifer. To this request, Bredell very wisely, and soberly responded:

“The City of-Cape Town is facing many competing needs, of which the pressures are also felt strongly within the PHA area. The need for secure food sources, to prioritise economic development and at the same time provide for the safety of communities through long-term spatial planning are but some of the aspects putting pressure on this particular and unique area within the city boundaries.

“These pressures are acknowledged, but at the same time it is necessary to point out that any new location for urban development in the PHA area should he well placed, not depriving the area and the affected citizens of a valuable food production source.”

We sincerely hope that the city will heed these remarks and not pursue their attempts to rid Cape Town of its valuable food source on the PHA. Food security is protected in all major cities throughout the world, so we appeal to the mayor and her followers not to try and transform the PHA into a development for gap housing. There are other places that are appropriate.

The agricultural land should remain agricultural zoning and not be changed to residential. The agricultural PHA is for the benefit of all of Cape Town, especially the poor who buy directly from the PHA and the hawkers who sell their produce in the poorer townships. They must never be deprived of this valuable food source – these products from our PHA.


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