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Old Hospital Set to Heal Cape Town’s Apartheid Wounds

Sixteen years after a Cape Town hospital closed‚ it is a step closer to becoming home for thousands of families.

The 22ha occupied by Conradie Hospital‚ between Thornton and Pinelands‚ is set to make way for 3‚602 houses‚ two schools and a commercial centre.

The Western Cape government wants to sell the site to Concor Construction for R202-million. Just under half the houses the company builds in a R3-billion development will be social‚ subsidised and rent-to-buy units. The remainder will be sold on the open market.

Public participation on the proposed sale closes on November 14‚ and if the sale gets the go-ahead the so-called Conradie Better Living Model Game Changer will “assist in addressing the apartheid spatial-planning legacy by creating well-located‚ affordable‚ integrated housing opportunities”‚ said a statement from the Western Cape cabinet.

Conradie Hospital‚ which operated between 1938 and 2002‚ is near Voortrekker Road and a railway line‚ offering residents easy access to public transport. The schools on the site will each accommodate 800 pupils.

The development is expected to take up to seven years to complete‚ creating 9‚300 jobs during construction. After this time‚ the number will drop to 4‚300.

A previous plan for the site was announced in 2007 but the developer pulled out because of the cost of upgrading road infrastructure. The site has remained unused since and has become derelict.

Improving roads is part of the new plan and the site is set to have footpaths and cycling paths as part of a non-motorised transport plan for the area.

“We believe the project could serve as a blueprint for how we can best unlock the economic potential of state-owned property and provide more affordable housing close to employment and economic opportunity in the future‚” said the cabinet statement.

Residents can weigh in on the plan at the provincial government website.


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