You need help? Send message

The Somerset West CBD regeneration plan is progressing apace

The Somerset West CBD regeneration plan is progressing apace

The founding group of the Somerset West City Revival Project at their first meeting.

What started as a simple expression asking for ideas to improve the safety and general beauty of Main Road in and around Somerset West has “accidentally” turned into a 150-strong project involving several sub-committees and pledges of support from businesses and developers.

Aptly named the Somerset West City Revival Project, it was founded in July and is already well organized with a conservation team focused on planting trees and flower beds; an aesthetic team that seeks to beautify walls with murals, preserve historic buildings and address abandoned buildings; a security team working to tackle homelessness and crime in the CBD; an eco team to reduce our footprint in the CBD; and other teams focusing on signage and trying to boost tourism with a possible art route, among other ideas and plans.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to us to improve the quality of life in our community, to make people feel safe and make an effort to make a difference, otherwise we can’t complain,” said Michelle Engelbrecht, who has lived in Somerset West all her life. life. Born in Helderberg Hospital, he attended Loreto Primary and Parel Vallei High School and as such has an enduring love for the city.

A few months ago, Engelbrecht took to social media to ask if anyone in the community was interested in a CBD revitalization project.

“I really thought at best about six women would come together on weekends to plant it, but the response has been overwhelming. The post attracted hundreds of people who shared the same passion and energy. I was overwhelmed by the positive responses.”

The idea came to Engelbrecht when he returned from an overseas trip when he noticed “things falling apart” in the Somerset West CBD and felt it was unfair that people didn’t feel safe along the main road, surrounded by litter and vagrants.

“I’ve been approached by ordinary members of the community, young people, businesses and developers, even beach people and new residents to our city from Durban and Johannesburg – all with a shared vision of our city’s potential and a commitment to progress.”

At the first meeting, the plan was born, and soon after that, the wheels started rolling on the project. Engelbrecht said enthusiastic community members from all walks of life have volunteered their time and services for the project, along with small and large businesses and developers.

“The scenery and mountains in our beautiful city take my breath away every day; we want to share this with others and attract tourists. Our aim is to bring the flora of the Helderberg into the city and create a fynbos trail, we want the murals to feature fynbos, the Khoisan and our passionate firefighters,” he said.

“We would like to make our settlement safe and create a cycling route dotted with fountains. There are so many ideas and we don’t want to exclude anyone; It’s for the community, so we can enjoy our village, and in December we’re creating a safe shopping opportunity in the evenings where people can enjoy the sunset and talk to each other.”

The cleanup has already taken place and more are planned in the coming months. A new website showcasing the attractions of Somerset West is nearing completion and tenders have been submitted to Heritage Western Cape to beautify buildings and the City of Cape Town’s Parks and Recreation Department to plant trees and flower beds along the main road. and repairing key intersections, barriers, and painting murals on walls.

Despite the red tape, Engelbrecht said they won’t be deterred or give up.

“We can’t wait to get going, and we mean it!” she exclaimed.

Veronique van der Westhuizen, who leads the aesthetic team and only recently moved to Somerset West from Pretoria, loves living in a community with so much history and beauty.

“It’s hard not to notice the wreckage around the CBD,” he pointed out. “When I came across this initiative, I knew exactly how people feel about standing up and doing something for change. Our city just needs a little love. I am honored to work with incredible people who want to invest their time in making the CBD a beautiful and safe space again.”

Pieter Kotze, a real estate businessman, immediately jumped at the opportunity to be a part of attracting investment back to the city, brightening it up and uplifting the community. “The benefits of such a project are endless and everyone would benefit from a revitalized CBD,” he said.

15th Ward Councilman Gregory Peck fully supports the initiative and says it’s refreshing to see the enthusiasm shown for the betterment of the community.

“There are a number of local government regulations around the group’s many plans and visions and I fully support them navigating the legal framework to ensure it complies with the city’s laws.”

V To contact Michelle and for more information about the Somerset West City Revival Project, email

Source link

Translate »
Compare items
  • Total (0)