Manenberg shines with new architecture



With the aim of “being a part of the community”, the Human Settlements Contact Centre in Manenberg, seeks to provide local residents and the wider community with a broad range of services.

The modernised contact centre, is situated at the corner of Vygiekraal Street and Lansdowne Road, has more staff than its predecessor and will manage the City of Cape Town’s housing rental stock and dwellings purchased through the City, as well as providing administrative support to ratepayers.

People will be able to access the City’s service hotline; make enquiries about the housing database, tenancy matters, service and rental accounts; pay municipal accounts and traffic fines; purchase prepaid electricity and apply for services, rates rebates and indigent benefits.

“This modernity is a representation of Cape Town projecting itself as the African city of tomorrow, today. Manenberg is therefore at the heart of our efforts to take the city forward into this future… let this centre be a physical reminder of that commitment and of our bond with the people of Manenberg,” Mayor de Lille

In one of Cape Town’s most challenged communities, socially and economically, the introduction of new architecture into a neighbourhood potentially has a positive effect. While not expecting too much from a new building, the identity of residents are often in part a response to their surroundings, and the quality of investment at that. In Cape Town in particular, there has always been the perception that beautiful buildings and structures are only a part of the more established parts of town,  while budget constrains and a demand for resources would result in a poor quality of building and mediocre work in less well-off areas. The new Manenberg building plays against the stereotype of dark, and poorly designed make-shift structures that so often dominate and influence the landscape of areas like Manenberg. It may not see a Medellin-like rise of renewal and reduced crime rates, but with more investment, Manenberg and other areas  may just start to turn the tide…

Read more at Earthworks Magazine

There are 2 comments

  1. Dalli Weyers

    A real pity though that the building actually looks away from, and so has its back turned towards Manenberg. So much for “a physical reminder of that commitment and of our bond with the people of Manenberg” then.

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