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‘Communities mustn’t be afraid of gentrification’

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana says communities can benefit from businesses moving into residential areas.

FILE: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cape Town Partnership, Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana says communities need to work with businesses to improve areas rather than allow neighbourhoods to degenerate. Picture: Primedia

CAPE TOWN - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cape Town Partnership, Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana says communities need to work with businesses to improve areas rather than allow neighbourhoods to degenerate.

She says although gentrification is an issue that residents fear, it is not the big bad wolf it is made out to be, especially if a balance between economic development and social inclusion is established.

"It's beyond money, if you have grown up in Woodstock and you have family has always known life in Woodstock and they are emotionally attached to the place. What makes it difficult is the fear and the anger of what they see happening around themselves, this makes the community very angry because of mistrust."

This comes after members of the District Six community raised concerns about the construction of student residences for the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Woodstock.

Some of the concerns have been raised about how the impact Woodstock's growing presence as an economic and modern art hub is having on residents who have lived in the area for a very long time.

Makalima-Ngewana is encouraging residents of communities to get involved in the development of areas instead of being afraid of being pushed out because of high property prices.