We need your urgent help

When MRHA raised concern about the proposed Water and Sanitation depot building project in Molteno Road, Oranjezicht, the City initially called it an “alarmist agenda” and that the project is merely a refurbishment.

Months later it was reclassified as “potential building and infrastructure upgrades" which is "far away from implementation" and will “include extensive community engagement at the appropriate time” and that residents need to “wait for the public notice of any development at this site and then evaluate the proposed designs”.

On 25 April 2024 CoCT announces the official budget allocation for this project at the Ward 77 Draft Budget 2024/2025 CBO meeting.

Next, MRHA was tipped off about undue process regarding CoCT’s NID (Notice of Intent to Develop) to Heritage Western Cape (HWC).

A Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for the official plans was submitted, as MRHA, as an official heritage association, should’ve been supplied the NID plans.

The received plans, which can be viewed here, were submitted under Section 38 of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA), but should’ve submitted under Section 34, as this current plan proposal will allow a building older than 60 years to be demolished, and two historic Grade IIIB buildings on Molteno Road, namely Radnor (the Pride Shelter site) and Pinewood (the adjacent Molteno Road building, closer to the reservoir entrance), will both be adapted and incorporated into the new facility.

Section 34 requires a consultation process during which comment could have been raised and conditions could have been proposed.

The City has not been forthcoming with its plans and due process was not followed. There is no trend in this story to give comfort or a sense of care.

Reasons for concern

The more progress the City makes in its attempt at approval here, the more funding it will invest in this futile project and the more committed it will be to focus its intentions on this site - a site that is wholly inappropriate for such a usage. Valuable City funds will thus be wasted on an ill-advised project that will not be tolerated by the local community.

The City needs to find a new site elsewhere - NOW -  before wasting anymore of our funds. This is, after all, a National Heritage Precinct, and it is in a suburban area. Can you imagine the increased noise pollution, the increased light pollution at night, the increased traffic flows on an already problematic road?

There are many other sites the City can look at that are far more appropriate for a WATER AND SANITATION HUB. We need to stop the project now, before further millions of rands are wasted. Additionally, where an old building is demolished and a new structure is built, the approval process going forward, in terms of second and third phases, although not proposed now, becomes ever more likely and easy to approve and build due to precedent being set. Phase 1 plans only soon become PHASE 2…

We need your urgent help

This project, which has been running for 7 months, is currently funded by a small group of local residents. As we progress in our case, we need to pay for more professional services like an attorney, a heritage architect and others. The costs are getting real and we cannot do it alone.
Stopping this project is the only option.

Please help us keep going by contributing. Every bit counts. We cannot do it alone. It’s easy to feel comforted assuming “the other guy in the neighbourhood” is getting involved. There’s only you.

Simply scan the QR code to the left, or follow this link to our SnapScan page.

If you prefer to transfer via EFT, please use the below bank details:

Account name: Molteno Reservoir Heritage Association
Bank: Nedbank
Account type: Cheque
Account number: 1274535956
Payment reference: We would love to acknowledge your contribution, so please include your name and street as your reference. If you’d like to remain anonymous, you can use ‘Friendly neighbour’.


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The Molteno Reservoir Heritage Association want to ensure that our neighbourhood remains an environment that serves the community and remains a safe space, while honouring historically significant heritage.

Molteno Road, Oranjezicht, is home to three landmarks: Molteno Reservoir, established 1887 |  The old Graaff Electric Lighting Works heritage building | De Waal Park. Molteno Reservoir and De Waal Park collectively offer a bustling community space. It’s where young and old, families, runners (fast and slow) and walkers congregate to connect, stay fit, unwind and play. It is home to neighbourhood dogs and cats, and the occasional squirrel being chased up a tree.

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