The City of Cape Town says it will be playing its role as the independent planning authority which must preside over Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the Housing Development Agency’s (HDA) application for the relocation of the Prasa central line occupants.
The City is required to impartially administer this application process under the Municipal Planning By-Law, and continues to assist Prasa’s implementing agent, the HDA, to pass compliance and completion checks for their submission dated 10 August 2023. No resubmission has been received to date.
The central line was subjected to a land invasion just before the national Covid-19 lockdown. Prasa approached the High Court for an eviction order having failed to secure its land against unlawful occupation. The order includes the provision of alternative emergency occupation, with Prasa appointing HDA to undertake land acquisition, planning approval applications, and relocation of the unlawful occupants.
As per the signed Intergovernmental Protocol agreement, Prasa, and HDA as its appointed agent, are responsible for the relocation, while the City’s role is limited to that of planning authority, and the provision of basic services.
For months, City officials have held detailed engagements with Prasa and the HDA’s appointed planning consultants to support their submission of a development application, which was ultimately submitted on 10 August. Officials continue to support the HDA to pass compliance and completion checks for the application.
The City was neither the applicant in this eviction, nor is it the landowner of the unlawfully occupied line or the proposed land for relocation. Prasa and their agent, the HDA, are fully responsible for the relocation and obtaining the necessary funding and approvals for this.
The City has repeatedly and consistently made it clear that it will not take responsibility for Prasa’s central line relocation programme, or the buying of land for another government entity.
The City wants to see trains running in Cape Town, and that includes the devolution of passenger rail for the City to run in the best interests of commuters.