Statement by the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.
The City of Cape Town has informed the National Government and the Western Cape Government of our intention to declare Cape Town in its entirety as a restructuring zone so that we can provide affordable housing opportunities wherever suitable land is available.
The City of Cape Town, as part of our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan, established the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) on 1 January 2017 to accelerate our efforts to create a more equal society based on integrated communities, economic inclusion, and access to opportunities.
There are ample opportunities for affordable housing in many areas across the metro, and the development and availability of affordable rental accommodation in central areas of the city must play a key role in the future development of Cape Town.
Currently, however, the City cannot get access to social housing grants from National Government unless suitable land is located within a restructuring zone.
As such, the TDA has informed the National Minister of Human Settlements and the Western Cape Government of our intention to denote the entire city as a restructuring zone. In so doing, any restriction on the City’s intention to speed up the delivery of affordable housing opportunities will be eliminated.
The City’s restructuring zones were approved in 2010 after the promulgation of the Social Housing Act. There is currently some uncertainty as to whether ‘central business district and surrounds’ includes areas like Sea Point, for example. In an effort to remove any uncertainty, we are proposing to extend our restructuring zones, subject to the Western Cape Government and the National Minister’s approval, so that no area is excluded in future.
This will be initiated through the City’s Spatial Development Framework, Integrated Development Plan, and Built Environment Performance Plan processes. Once completed, it will enable the City to develop any suitable land within the city’s boundaries for affordable housing opportunities.
The City is committed to actively redressing and reversing the spatial legacy of apartheid planning and has always considered all centrally located areas (such as the central business districts and surrounds) as well as zones along key transport routes to be restructuring zones that are eligible for affordable housing.
No eligible site or land that meets the criteria for the provision of affordable housing should be excluded to promote integration, reverse the legacy of apartheid, and provide safe and accessible housing to lower-income groups on the basis of the Social Housing Act of 2008.
Our Integrated Human Settlements Framework – the strategy we adopted in 2013 to address the dire housing need – found that we will need to provide an additional 650 000 housing opportunities at an estimated cost of R101 billion over the next 20 years.
This is a mammoth task. Addressing such a scale of need requires a radical shift in our financing and planning strategies and delivery methods.
The letters that were sent to the National and Provincial Ministers of Human Settlements earlier today are intended to shift the gears in so far as the delivery of affordable housing opportunities is concerned.