At 18h00 on 28th September, in the meeting hall at Oude Molen, Cape Town, representatives of the community living at Oude Molen, plus from communities surrounding Oude Molen, met to formally launch the establishment of the Oude Molen Forum.
Representing the MEC for Transport and Public Works, James Slabbert read out a speech that celebrated the historic agreement that has been negotiated between Government and the community over the past 12 months. He commended the Sustainability Institute for the role that it played as facilitator and strategic manager. The newly elected chairperson of the Oude Molen Village Association called the event a victory for the Association which has, for eight years, struggled to have it’s voice heard in government circles. Representatives from Maitland Gardens next door and the Western Cape Khoi San Council made sure that the voices of the historically excluded were clearly and confidently heard. What the meeting confirmed above all is that the Oude Molen site not only means many different things to many different interests, it also captures both the tragedy of the past and the promise of the future articulated not via the discourse of conventional urban development, but via the discourse of sustainability.The role of the Oude Molen Forum is to provide a legitimate governance space for managing Oude Molen, and for facilitating the 12 to 18 month forward planning process that will now take place. The Western Cape Government has made available R800 000 for the planning process which will hopefully culminate in a development application to the City of Cape Town by the end of 2007 or early 2008.