Hout Bay has long ago lost its sleepy village atmosphere and is now a thriving hub of businesses as well as a busy community. With a figure from the CSIR of 31 000 people living here, and the possibility of that figure actually being closer to 40 000, all the infrastructural improvements made and planned for the near future are very welcome, says Matt Mercer, branch manager of the Knight Frank Residential SA branch in Hout Bay.
“These will go a long way to integrating the community and if everyone sees change as something that will contribute to us working together for the whole area’s upliftment, there can only be a positive outcome,” he said.
The very large Hout Bay Gateway Project which will improve the entrance to Hout Bay at the Imizamo Yethu circle, that includes greening the area, terracing the slope of the land on the northern side to prevent further soil erosion, as well as a building stairways and ramps at the circle, has been given the go-ahead. This project, it is planned, will improve the area for pedestrians who walk from the taxi stops and the MyCiti bus stops. In addition, the south side of the circle’s lighting will be improved and benches will be installed.
The Gateway Project should improve the first impression that tourists get of Hout Bay, as the red City Sightseeing buses stop here as well, said Mercer.
In addition to this project there have been many other additions such as the MyCiti depot, which is nearing completion, the extra pedestrian lighting and walkways added along the route between the cemetery and the IY circle, the upgrade of the common which will be used in the near future by the Lion’s market that is held every Sunday, the street and traffic lights on Victoria Road from Suikerbossie all the way into Hout Bay, all of which have added to the feel of upgrading throughout the area, he said.
Another planned improvement to Hout Bay is the planned poly-clinic, which it is hoped will eventually become a 24 hour hospital, and is under discussion now. When premises that suit all the communities is found, this will become another welcome addition to the services being offered to all the communities of the area.
“Hout Bay is thriving and while rural charm is welcome and was always what made Hout Bay attractive to those living here, with the new International School premises, the new Pick n Pay centre, the planned upgrading of the Checkers centre and the general “cleaning up” of many areas, this image is now changing rapidly with those living and moving here, and many international tourists choose this area as their planned destination and not just a stopover. There is also a large percentage of foreign buyers choosing to settle here in their retirement over many other areas of Cape Town,” said Mercer.