Category: Blog

The R80 billion plan to sink Cape Town’s rail lines

This is the vision for a section of the Cape Town CBD for the year 2030 by Makeka Design Lab. The idea is the brain child of Mokena Makeka, the Principal and Creative Director of Makeka Design Lab.

In 2011, a R80 billion regeneration project for the Cape Town Station precinct and more than 50 hectaresof land between Woodstock and Culemborg was proposed to radically alter Cape Town’s inner city and breathe life into a “dead area”. Plans included the recovery of shipwrecks from below the Cape Town station and the dropping of the railway tracks between Cape Town and Salt River to allow for expanded terrestrial development.

The ambitious inner-city facelift was unveiled at a 2011 City of Cape Town mayoral committee meeting and was one of seven national transport orientated development projects being considered by the former agency, Intersite, the the property division of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA. As about half of the city’s commuters relied on rail transport, Cape Town’s regeneration was a “high priority”, said Intersite chief executive officer Cromet Molepo.

The rail corridors would have nodes and stations, each with a unique character and economic profile. According to Makeka said there would be four neighbourhoods linked by a central spine or grand promenade.

  •  Neighbourhood A would be mixed-use with a cultural centre, museum and boutique hotels.
  •  Neighbourhood B would be a centre of technological research and education.
  •  Neighbourhood C would be a government services area with staff housing and parliamentary loft apartments.
  •  Neighbourhood D would be a health and lifestyle area with clinics, sport medical centres and a fitness park.

Makeka said challenges included the zoning rights that would be needed to get a project of this magnitude off the ground, and the “substantial” amount of infrastructure that would be placed underground.

Article originally on

Packing Tape Webs in an Abandoned Basement


Design firm Numen/For Use is best known for its bizarre tunnels made of packing tape, resembling the webs of a nightmarishly oversized spider. While these installations are often set inside galleries, the Viennese/Croatian collective also stretched 117,000 feet of it inside the basement of an abandoned factory for the 2010 Vienna Design Week.


Article originally on

Cape Town to Get Dedicated Cruise Terminal – TransNet

After years of lobbying by government officials and the private sector, TransNet has given the go-ahead for construction of Cape Town’s first dedicated cruise ship terminal.



Cape Town With Cruise Ship
A cruise ship leaving the Port of Cape Town.
This comes on the back of growing demand for cruise tours across South Africa. The cruise liner industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism sectors due to it being both affordable and adaptable to changing market needs. Cape Town has largely benefited from this, with 19 cruise liners visiting its shores in 2011, bringing with them over 11 000 passengers and additional staff. This led to increased tourism revenue and the creation of jobs.

The city is, however, largely unable to satisfactorily accommodate cruise ships due to a lack of official facilities. Earlier this year, the Department of Home Affairs controversially banned the berthing of cruise ships of over 200m at the city’s famed V&A Waterfront, citing security concerns. Instead, ships have since had to dock at Duncan Dock in the Port of Cape Town. With no cruise terminal, passengers experience long waiting periods to board and disembark ships, and an unsightly/inefficient loading area, among other issues. This has perhaps prevented additional cruise companies from operating out of the city.

That is all set to change, however, with the construction of a new dedicated cruise terminal in the city within the next two years. Due to be constructed at berth E, the cruise terminal will comprise modern baggage-handling facilities, customs facilities, as well as ablutions and other amenities present in cruise terminals the world over. The spin-offs from this are set to benefit everything from the tourism sector to the property sector. An increase in tourists arriving to the city as a result of an efficient on-ground cruise experience will no doubt create higher demand for retail property and other properties within the area. Already the V&A Waterfront is placing much focus on improving the Clocktower area with construction of No 1 Silo and many other planned developments. The cruise terminal would be located close to the Clocktower precinct, which could end up linking well with the V&A Waterfront and the greater city as a whole, creating a new development corridor.

Article originally on Galetti

19th Feb 2016

Unfinished highway could become urban park



Cape Town’s famous unfinished highway has long been an eyesore and a bit of a headache for the city. What to do with it?

The City of Cape Town recently allowed the CTICC to build a ramp and parking lot at one end, but long term plans for the removal/refurbishment could be decided by the end of the year.

One of the most exciting prospects is a proposal by postgraduate students from the UCT School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics. The Foreshore [Re] Action plan sees the two ends of the unfinished highway being linked by an urban park. According to the proposal, the “concrete jungle will be transformed into an organic, vibrant foreshore, where nature intertwines with concrete, that promotes the environmental sustainability initiatives of future Cape Town.”

Whether something like this could actually happen, remains to be seen, but we’re all for more urban parks and recreation areas!

Article originally on

17th Feb 2016