COCT RESUMES THE SALE OF PUBLIC LAND

15 SEPTEMBER 2019

STATEMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD SECRETARY GENERAL & MEMBER OF THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT

CITY OF CAPE TOWN RESUMES THE SALE OF PUBLIC LAND TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER WHILE AFFORDABLE HOUSING REMAINS A CRISIS

The City of Cape Town has advertised the sale, by public auction, of a number of public properties that could be used for the public good.

The auction is advertised for Tuesday 17 September 2019 and includes public properties that should be used for addressing an affordable housing crisis and spatial integration.

Public land that is zoned Group Residential 1 (GR1) is already zoned for medium-density residential development including low-rise flats.

Included in the advertisement, in this weekend’s papers, is public land zoned GR1 in Durbanville for example.  It is thus immeadiately available for an appropriate scale affordable housing development.

This land should be made available for the development of medium density affordable housing – including social housing – instead of being sold off to the highest bidder.

Mayor Dan Plato recently cancelled the development of five sites in Woodstock and the inner city for affordable housing.  This was a massive set-back for addressing the affordable housing crisis and for addressing spatial integration. 

The five sites would have added at least 1850 social housing units, over and above other affordable housing units, to the precinct which is experiencing the displacement of low to middle income families as the area redevelops.

One of the reasons cited by Plato for the cancellation was that some of the sites did not have the correct zoning.

This excuse is a fig-leaf for politically embarrassing reasons for the cancellation and is not a legitimate reason for the cancellation.

Now the City is selling off land that is already zoned for the type of development envisaged in Woodstock and the inner city.

Plato should demonstrate his commitment to spatial integration, and to using public land for affordable housing, by cancelling the sale of land that is already zoned for group housing like these sites in Durbanville.

Included in the advertised auction is the sale of a small site in Bonteheuwel which was developed from a dumping site into a peace garden by the local community.

It is only about 200 square meters in extent and cannot be a priority to sell off.

The proposed sale is a breach of trust with a community under siege. 

Instead of trampling on grassroots efforts, that demonstrate a social commitment to peace and harmony in a community currently under gang-warfare siege and being patrolled by the military, the city should be partnering with that community around this small beacon of community spirit and hope.

Public land should be used for public good. 

ENDS…

Media enquiries: Brett Herron, bretth@forgood.org.za, 082-5183264

Good