Western Cape Business News

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HOUSING: Plan To Help Housing Delivery


Recent Western Cape Business News

The City of Cape Town is facing major challenges in addressing the housing backlog and this requires a progressive and innovative approach to housing provision and allocation.

Everyone wants a house and wants to be assured that, when it is their turn, they will not be denied occupation and this imposes a responsibility on the City’s Housing Directorate to develop a fair and equitable system of house provision and allocation,” says Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato. “The City, in this and all other respects, is committed to fairness, equity and public accountability.”

The City’s provision of housing is predicated on section 26 of the Constitution:

26. Housing

  1. Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.

  2. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right (emphasis added).

  3. No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.

The financial assistance the City of Cape Town receives for housing from the State allows it to provide about 8000 housing opportunities a year and, in compliance with the constitutional imperative cited above, 99.4 % of this money(available resources), has been spent in the past 2008/09 State financial year.

The City has a number of housing projects which are scheduled for completion in the next few years and is concerned that these projects are being threatened by systematically planned and executed land invasions.

In the upcoming financial year the City will begin work on 16 280 housing opportunities, and we have allocated R68 million for the purchase of land. Some of the biggest projects will commence in Happy Valley Phase 2 (1 350 units), Bardale (3 500 units) Nonqubela (2 850 units) and Wallacedene with 1 650 units.

While remaining strictly within the confines of the law, the City’s Anti Land Invasion Unit is determined to repel these invasions under the supervision of the Metro Police and the SAPS.

As structures are illegally erected on City land, they are systematically dismantled before they can be occupied.

The law provides no protection to people who illegally invade land and imperil housing projects and, where necessary, we shall seek the protection of the courts through restraining interdicts, which we have done in the Macassar area and are pursuing with the Provincial administration in Bloekembos”, Alderman Plato said.

Not surprisingly, because demand substantially exceeds supply, housing allocations are always a subject of emotional debate and the City administers the allocation process through its integrated housing database that contains the details of approximately 300 000 registered applicants for housing opportunities,” says the City’s Executive Director: Housing, Hans Smit.

While the City has approximately 300 000 registered applicants on its waiting list for houses, it estimates that the total demand for housing is of the order of 400 000 houses because there are more than 100 000 people living in informal settlements who are not registered on the housing database, but remain part of the City’s total housing demand.

The City’s housing waiting list is open for inspection and prospective tenants are urged to update their contact details on the housing list should their addresses change. In the interests of and to promote transparency and fairness, the City allocates housing strictly in chronological order (first come, first served) to persons on this waiting list and will not reward those who invade land by giving them preferential access to housing.

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