Addressing Spatial Justice in the Western Cape
22 May 2020
Speech by Minister Tertuis Simmers
ADDRESSING SPATIAL JUSTICE IN THE WESTERN CAPE: CENTURIES OF INJUSTICE AND 3 DEMOCRATIC DECADES OF NEGLECT.
21 May 2020
Venue: Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP)/MS Teams
Honourable Cabinet Members
Honourable Members and
Speaker, on social media platforms, words and phrases are being compared with, or referred to as a person. If you google the word hypocrite or open your dictionary right now, you will see a picture of the sponsor of today’s debate, next to this word.
When someone is in a position where they have an opportunity to make a difference, and do not use it optimally, yet seek to criticise others, we should all be alarmed.
Perhaps this is harsh, as honourable Member Brett Herron, while he was still the MAYCO-member of Transport and Human Settlements in the City of Cape Town, spoke about potential social housing projects at the Salt River Market and in Pine Road, Woodstock.
Where are these noteworthy projects, one should ask?
It was during Member Herron’s tenure in the 2017/18 financial year, that the City of Cape Town had to return R166-million of its Urban Settlement Development Grant to the National Department of Human Settlements. This amount would have produced approximately 1038 housing opportunities.
Undoubtedly an opportunity missed to make a difference in the lives of more than 1000 people.
When addressing spatial justice, you have to transform spaces and places. Have we managed to achieve this? Not yet. Have we made strides on our path to transform our spaces and places? This is an emphatic, YES.
Speaker, addressing the apartheid spatial planning legacy is a Provincial imperative and as such well-located affordable housing has been designated as a priority, as our aim is to remarkably improve the lives of the most deserving in our communities.
These are inclusive of the elderly, disabled, backyard dwellers and those longest on the waiting list, where we are ensuring that our people are moved into an improved area and dwelling, which they call home.
Member Herron is fully aware of our impeccable record of delivery, but not only that, through this delivery we’ve improved and transformed the lives of thousands of people. Had the member, while in the City, spent the USDG it could’ve been a different picture.
Speaker, the sponsor of today’s debate should familiarise himself with my Department’s 2020 – ’25 strategic document, particularly since he’s part of the Standing Committee of Human Settlements. By doing so, he’ll note how spatial transformation is pertinently expressed in this document for the entire province.
I’d also advise that this member starts visiting the various projects throughout the province, to obtain a full and clear understanding of what is happening.
It’s not always advisable to only write NO-GOOD newsletters that’s based on fake news.
One of the ways we’re addressing spatial transformation is through the social housing programme which we have throughout the Western Cape. So pleks van ‘n kwaksalf verkoper is, spreek ons die ware nood van ons mense aan, anders as die borg van vandag se debat.
In the Metro, we have Glenhaven in Bellville, Regent Villas in Mitchells Plain and phase 3 of the Bothasig Social Housing projects, where together, over 900 individuals will benefit between now and 2021.
This year, we’re also looking forward to the commencement of the Pine Road Social Housing project in Woodstock. Others have blown hot air about this, but we’re doing it. Furthermore, the 1055 units, which are intended to be developed around Goodwood Station, will also occur in due course.
Social Rental Housing is however not limited to the Metro, as 11 Leader Town Municipalities are working toward establishing SMART partnerships with Social Housing Institutions.
The Province secured R500 000 from our Social Housing partner, SHRA, to help the Stellenbosch Municipality, investigate the development potential within specific Municipal precincts. This is making steady progress. We also have the Dal Josafat Social Housing project in Paarl, which is in the planning phase. Approximately 400 units are expected.
Speaker, we are a forward thinking and planning department and with that said:
Approximately 82 potential projects are being explored and packaged over the next 10 years. This entails approximately 22 000 units. Some of these potential future initiatives include:
- The Salt River market development, which is proposing 216 Social Housing units, with 448 market related units. The development will provide retail opportunities and a space for local businesses to grow. While some are thinking about it, we’re getting it done.
- If you make your way to Mosselbay, you will find the Mount View development, where in excess of 300 units will be constructed in due course.
Speaker, COVID-19 is teaching us that it cannot be business as usual. Policy, budgetary and by-law amendments, particularly at national and local government levels, are urgently required if we are going to effectively and speedily address the needs of our people.
In conclusion, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.