Gap housing for rich suburbs

ca p10 Tamboerskloofdone henk kruger The city says it will not disturb the heritage of areas like Tamboerskloof when building affordable housing there

Bronwynne Jooste

METRO WRITER

THE CITY says it will build scores of affordable apartments in some of Cape Town’s most affluent suburbs and closer to the CBD.

The plan is part of the new Cape Town Spatial Development Framework, launched by the City of Cape Town and the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

This will take affordable, or gap housing, to areas across Cape Town, including Pinelands, the city centre, Tamboerskloof and Salt River.

The plan is one of several in the new policy, which also looks at creating employment hubs closer to informal settlements. There will also be mixed development areas, with residential and business areas closer to each other.

The city says the new framework replaces the “apartheid-era plans”.

Belinda Walker, the mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, said one of the goals was to “transform the apartheid city”.

It was “sensible” for the city to “house people close to the city”.

Some informal settlement residents could afford homes, but there were issues with securing funding from banks.

This new framework proposed more developments for gap housing.

This is housing for people who earn too much to qualify for a subsidised house, but struggle to secure a bond.

One of the plans was to build high-rise apartments along parts of Voortrekker Road between Bellville and Salt River.

Walker said this would fit in with the extension of the MyCiTi service along that road.

But the city maintained that the new developments would not change the feel of the suburbs.

Walker said some parts of the city centre already catered for high-rise blocks, while Tamboerskloof had more Victorian-themed homes.

“The city will do this in a way that does not disturb the heritage of the area,” she said.

According to the framework, the city must “avoid large concentrations of poor people”, similar to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, in “new growth areas”.

“(The city should) promote a greater mix of market-driven, gap and subsidised developments in as many areas as possible,” the document reads.

Other parts of the policy include pushing for partnerships with the private sector. This would, ideally, provide gap housing in private developments.

The ANC in the city council welcomed the move, adding that it was part of what they had been calling for in their local government election campaign last year.

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