INNER CITY PRETORIA: 

WEST CAPITAL PRECINCT

DESCRIPTION
  • The West Capital Precinct is a long-term vision of the municipality for the western part of the inner city. Vast tracts of land, where people were formerly forcibly removed (in the 1960s and 1970s), exist alongside new social housing developments, empty government high-rise buildings, and a vibrant, if run-down, business precinct.     

  • This precinct is also home to the historical Marabastad, which is a predominantly Indian business district (formal) but also hosts a large number of informal business (mostly black-led). A mosque, a historical Hindu temple and a large number of African Initiated Churches, also highlights the religious importance of this site. 

  • Marabastad is an important transport hub bringing 1000s of commuters into the city on a daily basis. Just outside Marabastad, the Department of Home Affairs has their office processing asylum-seekers, and the city’s only municipal homeless shelter also exists in this area.

  • The West Capital Precinct offers an opportunity to heal a severe socio-spatial-spiritual fracture in the City of Tshwane. In some ways it is like an empty canvas waiting to be creatively – yet very sensitively and respectfully – engaged.

  • Old – and award-winning – plans for the Marabastad area, which forms a smaller part of the bigger precinct, was completed around 1999, and never implemented. This was at the same time where the area has a vibrant Development Forum, since becoming defunct. These plans, together with unresolved land claims of former residents, need to be considered as part of any engagement in this area. 

 

Features

 

  • West Capital Precinct Plan

  • The vacant and stripped Schubart Park and Kruger Park housing developments

  • Marabastad, the object of forced removals in the 1960s, 1970s and 2000s

  • The Thembelihle Village, a 733-unit social housing development

  • The Department of Home Affairs

  • Historical religious sites

Question 

How can the West Capital Precinct be developed into a model urban precinct, using vast open public land and unutilized assets, a local public transport hub, and access to economic opportunity, in combination with existing infrastructure, to creative a cohesive, mixed-income and mixed-use northwestern entry point into the city? 

Research actions 

  • Documenting actions taken before as part of a Status Quo report

  • Engaging critically with the West Capital Precinct Plan

  • Encourage the formation of the West Capital Forum, incorporating current stakeholders in the area and their concerns

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