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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.”

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.
Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Nigel Burgher [1], [2].

Equatorial Guinea to Construct a Gas Mega-hub Project

Equatorial Guinea’s government has announced its plans to construct a natural gas mega-hub project.

This will consist of interlinked production, aggregation and processing facilities offshore and onshore, and will tie in to existing facilities. The project is led by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) in collaboration with oil and gas companies.

The first phase of the project is to implement a new gas supply agreement signed between the MMH and Noble Energy, operator of the Aseng and Alen fields in Block I/O. Gas will be supplied to the Punta Europa gas complex, which includes the Malabo power station, AMPCO methanol plant and Equatorial Guinea LNG plant. The agreement, combined with new sub-sea pipelines linking the Aseng, Alen and Alba fields, will replace some of the gas production lost as the Alba field declines.

Building on the new Punta Europa-Alba-Alen link, the gas mega-hub will link into other existing and future gas projects and maximize the gas infrastructure of Equatorial Guinea and potentially that of neighbor states. This will reduce dependency on single upstream developments for industrial development, and will allow gas to be directed to where the value is greatest.

The project is envisioned to create 2-3,000 direct and indirect jobs for the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, with the state standing to receive more than $2 billion in revenues. A key component of this will be local content, ensuring that Equatorial Guinea’s local companies are part of the value chain.

On announcing the new venture, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said: “Equatorial Guinea is developing the leading natural gas economy in sub-Saharan Africa and leading the region in proving new technologies and concepts. This gas mega-hub project is totally unique in Africa and it requires an unprecedented level of cooperation between government and energy companies.”

The gas mega-hub project will change the dynamic of future upstream gas projects in Equatorial Guinea, with a ready market promoting further exploration for gas, an increasing role for Punta Europa as the primary user and onshore base for new gas projects, and a view to developing discoveries as tie-ins to the mega-hub, rather than as standalone upstream developments.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Jamar Penny [1], [2].