The New Mall. Who's to Benefit?
Two proposals have been tabled for this development. One is from BCD Town and Regional Planners on behalf of Retail Africa (Pty) Ltd which will be known as Whale Coast Village Mall. The proposed site for this Mall is the 13.7 hectare parcel of land between the new industrial area and the Sandbaai intersection.
The other proposal is from Plan Active on behalf of Wekita One (Pty) Ltd which will be known as the Overberg Mall. The site for this Mall is a 13.2 hectare site adjacent to the R43 and situated on the Vermont side of Hawston above the Hawston Harbour. Both proposals envisage what are known as anchor tenants, national retailers, line shops, restaurants and large parking areas.
Leading up to the April council meeting, the Municipality seemed to be favouring the Whale Coast Village Mall as the development of choice. However, a flood of objections from the community drove the Municipality to ultimately vote for both developments, thus escalating the final decision to the Province.
One of the main objections to the Whale Coast Village Mall is it’s proximity to the Central Business District of Hermanus. It is feared that it will sound the death knell of the CBD, which will rapidly empty and become derelict.
At present there is an impact study being conducted by Mr Petrus Hendriksz of the Hermanus Business Chamber on the future of the CBD. Part of this study will be not ony the impact of the new Mall on the CBD, but the respective impacts of the various positionings of the Mall.
Although financially viable, many in the community feel the social and environmental impact of a development of this magnitude were not taken into consideration by council. Many in the Hawston community feel it is imperative for the Mall to be situated in their area as it will bring much-needed economic development and jobs to their town. With the near collapse of both the fishing and building industries, Hawston is in dire need of development.
Also, the Hawston-Fisherhaven region of the greater Hermanus area is the next major growth area in the Overstrand. In addition to this, Hawston is in closer proximity to the N2, making the Mall more accessible to shoppers from surrounding areas like Botrivier, Hangklip-Kleinmond, Caledon and Villiersdorp.
Although these two developments are at present the only options before the Province, there is another proposal in the offing. This is a much more comprehensive proposal from, amongst others, Milkwood Projects and the Hawston Seafarms Foundation. This proposal envisages a development stretching from below the proposed Overberg Mall all the way down to the Hawston Harbour.
Here, a “Waterfront” type mall will be built near the Hawston Harbour, with restaurants overlooking the working harbour as is the case with the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Behind this Mall a large abalone farm will be established, which will be surrounded by units for light industry and manufacturing.
Not only will this be a major economic boost for Hawston, it will also create some 5000 jobs, draw thousands of tourists to the Waterfront and contribute significantly to social cohesion in a still largely racially divided region. From an ecological perspective, the abalone farm will have a dramatic effect on marine conservation.
This seems to be the ultimate integrated development for the Overstrand.
However, the Overstrand Municipality has objected to the transfer of the 42 hectare parcel of land needed for this development. The transfer was approved by the Province to the Hawston Seafarms Foundation, but now the progress has stalled.
The Monitor approached the Municipality for information concerning its objections to the transfer of the land, but at the time of going to press, no reply had been received.
Community leaders like Mr Ndzongana (see page 6) are incensed by the Municipality’s town planning decisions that benefit a small minority, while the majority of residents are not adequately catered for.
The decision of where to position the new Mall has long term implications for the Overstrand. The lifespan of a Shopping Mall of this size could be in excess of 50 years, making this decision vital for the long-term economic development of the region.
Icebo lokwenza ubhabhaza kanokutsho wendibanisela yamashishini eOverberg sele uhambe mgama. Kungoku nje, sele kukho amacebo amabini agqithiselwe kwiSebe Lentshona Koloni okwenza unokutsho wendawo yokuthenga enokufaniswa neleyaa ise Somerset.
Enye ibizwa ngokuba yi Whale Coast Village Mall ezakuba kufuphi negaraji iEngen eSandbaai. Enye ibizwa iOverberg Mall ecetywa ukuba ibe ngapha kwendlela kwe Hawston.
Ukusondela kumhlangano wesigqeba sikamasipala ngo April, kurhorheleka ukuba umasipala ebe kekelela kule ingase Engen (iWhale Coast Village Mall ukutsho). Kodwa intotho
yezikhalazo ezisuke eluntwini zibangele ukuba nale ingase Hawston (iOverberg Mall ukutsho) ijongwe nayo.
Esinye sezona zikhalazo kukuba le ingase Engen isondele kakhulu edolophini, nto leyo enokubulala ushishino kwidolophu yethu njengoko kuqikelelwa ukuba uluntu luza kukhethe enye liye ke enye.
Abaxhasa le ingase Hawston bathi isemlonyeni osondele kuhola wendlela uN2, nto leyo enokubangela ukuba idolophi ezifana neeBotriver, Kleinmond, Caledon neVilliersdorp zizokuthenga apha kuba ifikeleleka lula.