Replanning of Bongani / Victoria Mxenge Precincts and Bangiso – Tandazo Pedestrian Link, Khayelitsha

Client(s): n/a
Date: 2001 -
Area/Extent: ± 24 ha
Topic: Planning
Partner(s): n/a

The Project Challenge

The purpose of the Bongani / Victoria Mxenge Precinct planning project was to address the primary need for housing as well as associated social and economic opportunities to enable the creation of a more sustainable living environment.

The objectives of the project were:

  • The reconfiguration / re-planning of Victoria Mxenge and Bongani Precincts
  • Creating a sustainable living environment and thriving community life
  • Creating spaces for shelter
  • Rationalising the storm water drainage system
  • Improving access to schools and dealing with security threat posed by gangs to pedestrians.

Principles & Approach

The principles adopted by the project team included:

  • Robustness in structure and texture
  • Encourage walkability
  • Promote access and human comfort
  • Ensure dignity and quality of urban space making
  • Linkage and integration of public and private spaces

From a design point of view, the approach was one of simplicity, using simple means, measures and materials to achieve a good quality space. From a process point of view, it was necessary to embark on a participative and inclusive process which relied on local input at the planning, design and implementation stages.


The Bongani / Victoria Mxenge replanning exercise proposed a way of intervening that attempted to address the causes and not the symptoms of the problems identified in the study. It comprised an urban design framework and a set of action plans and strategies that dealt largely with the need to create a healthier living environment but which went further to identify opportunities for the future growth and development of the area.

The framework proposed a structural and spatial system relating to inherent patterns in the area and promoted the externalisation of activity onto the primary routes and nodes. It was intended to provide clarity and legibility to the public environment and offer a means to addressing the fragmented nature of the public institutional system.

The urban design framework aimed to direct public investment and assist in locating opportunities for private investment and housing development that support the aims of the framework strategically. The framework highlighted projects that would benefit directly from public–private partnerships and an inter-disciplinary approach to transforming local environments.

Action plans and / or strategies for the following were also proposed:

  • Developing underutilized school land;
  • Developing a set of ‘relief spaces’ and sporting areas with landscaping priorities and
  • Developing guidelines for housing upgrades along with land subdivision typologies with potential for a range of possibilities within the housing unit.

Bangiso – Tandazo Pedestrian Link measuring 370m in length was the first project to be implemented as a result of the Bongani / Victoria Mxenge Precinct.