Developer of 18-Storey Building in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town Pleased with SCA Ruling

The developer of a controversial 18-storey building in Bo-Kaap is pleased with the outcome of a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) case.

This after the court dismissed the Bo-Kaap Ratepayers and Civic Association’s application against the Western Cape High Court’s decision to approve construction of a R1billion high-rise building in the area.

Vantage Properties Managing Director José Rodrigues said: “This ruling vindicated the due process we followed throughout the application. Furthermore, we do not believe there was ever a basis for this litigation.”

In a lengthy judgment delivered on Tuesday, the SCA said it had been unable to find any irregularities in the city council’s decision-making process.

Judge Mahomed Navsa said: “The court held that the City and the mayor had arrived at the decisions in a balanced fashion, that they did not act unreasonably or irrationally. The mayor and the City did not commit an error of law and they did not ultimately hold a rigid view that base zoning rights trumped all countervailing considerations.”

Rodrigues said his company had always considered the heritage of Bo-Kaap during the process and it was aware of the impact the development would have.

“We respect the heritage of the Bo-Kaap and strong sense of community, but are also aware that the noise generated around this development was not so much about the Bo-Kaap community’s antagonism, but rather that of immediate neighbours who are concerned their views will be impacted,” he said.

The development would comprise flats, retail and office space and 310 basement parking bays.

The association’s secretary, Jacky Poking, said: “We are in discussion with our legal team about the decision and what our options are.

“We are still processing the decision. We are concerned about the impact on our living heritage and the erosion of our way of life due to gentrification.”

Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said: “The City notes the outcome. We are still studying the judgment and have no further comment.”

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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Nigel Burgher [1], [2].