City Aims to House Families and Upgrade Informal Settlements | Western Cape Government


City Aims to House Families and Upgrade Informal Settlements

19 August 2009
The City of Cape Town's Five-Year Housing Plan indicates the City's approach to integrated human settlement planning and development.

The Five-Year Strategy aligns with the recent statement by the National Minister for Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale in which he acknowledged that government cannot provide houses for all.

The strategy forms the basis in terms of which the City attempts to address the problem of urbanisation. In addressing this challenge, the City has adopted the incremental approach towards formal housing.

The incremental approach has as its building blocks the following:

  • Stabilisation of the informal settlement areas through the establishment of a presence in these areas to build relationships as well as provide support. The Informal Settlement Management Section and the Anti- Land Invasion Unit are the main roleplayers in this process.
  • The provision of essential services to these areas in order to support safe and healthy livable areas is carried out by the Informal Settlement Planning and Services Sections.
  • The implementation of the various National Housing programmes to provide security of tenure and shelter to people in need of housing. It includes those persons living in backyards, informal settlements and anyone registered on the integrated housing database.
  • The National Housing programme allows for a variety of housing opportunities to be provided, such as the upgrading of existing rental stock, informal settlement upgrading, new rental stock, land acquisition, formal housing delivery and emergency housing.

The City is installing infrastructure for housing units in areas such as Bardale, Wallacedene, Delft, Happy Valley, Khayelitsha Site C, Mfuleni, Eastridge, Nongubela, Nyanga and Philippi East.

Announcing the revised Five-Year Strategy, Mayoral Committee Member for Housing, Cllr Shehaam Sims, said that the plan for the 2009 - 2014 period is aligned to the National Housing Department's Breaking New Ground policies, the Provincial Isidima Initiative, and the City's own Integrated Development Plan.

In the coming year, the City has fully allocated its annual subsidy budget of R663 million for housing projects, and has added further funds for the upgrade of informal settlements and maintenance of rental stock.

"The City recently bought a total of 380 hectares of land in Fisantekraal, Kalkfontein, Joostenbergvlakte, Vlakteplaas, Strand, Atlantis and Hout Bay for new housing developments," she said. This will form the basis for the next five to eight year housing delivery plan.

"One of the City's major challenges is the need for more land for housing. Land values have skyrocketed over the past few years which makes the acquisition of large tracts of land exorbitantly expensive for the municipality.

"One option is to construct multi-storey apartment buildings to address this challenge. Densification needs further research before the City settles on the best options," Councillor Sims said.

In support of this approach the upgrading of existing rental stock and new rental stock forms part of the Five-Year Plan.

In Subcouncil 22, which covers parts of Khayelitsha, Driftsands, Blue Downs and West Bank, 5 947 housing opportunities are under construction at Bardale, another 1 500 are proposed in Mfuleni, 1 000 in Blue Downs and 500 in Khayelitsha.

"We are cognisant of the current expressed need, often termed the housing backlog, of some 400 000 people in need of housing in Cape Town," she added.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media queries:
Councillor Shehaam Sims
Mayoral Committee Member for Housing
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 1128
Cell: 073 115 4447

Hans Smit
Executive Director:
Housing, City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 2873

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