The Big Issue #275
- 20 May to 19 June 2019
Tucked away in the heart of the Cape Flats is the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA). Compared to the picturesque farmlands of Stellenbosch, Constantia or Franschhoek, there is nothing breathtakingly beautiful about the PHA.
If you’ve ever taken a drive through the area, you will know that it is not uncommon to hurriedly roll up your window trying to keep out the stench of heaps of compost on the fields. Be that as it may, the PHA is crucial to food security in the city as it produces 200 000 tons of vegetables each year and contributes nearly R484 million in direct turnover to the regional economy. This unique ecosystem is also the primary recharge zone of the Cape Flats aquifer.
For the past 10 years, the PHA Food & Farming Campaign has been trying to preserve the agricultural integrity of the area against proposed developments and alleged attempts by the City of Cape Town to rezone the area. The PHA Campaign has recently filed for a judicial review of 12 development permissions, ranging from rezoning and environmental impact assessments to urban edge shift challenges (see page 8).
With limited financial and legal resources, the PHA Campaign will stand up in court against a far more resourced team of legal representatives of developers, and the City of Cape Town itself. Picture David squaring up against Goliath.
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More from this Issue:
- Agents of Change
- City Life