Cape Town - Fifteen pieces of city-owned land will soon go on the market for commercial and mixed use.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille told the council on Wednesday that the land would allow developers to use municipal land and assets to drive new developments while creating a revenue stream for the city.
This asset disposal would start in October, and a further 50 properties would be sold off in “coming months”.
But ANC councillor Tony Ehrenreich said most of these sites would be in wealthier areas, and would be used for high-income housing. “It will not be used to promote integration.”
De Lille rejected Ehrenreich’s claims, saying he was jumping to conclusions before the city had even announced the location of the sites. “We have not said where the properties are. They are all over the city.”
The mayor’s office said later that a bulk advertisement referring to other council-owned properties being prepared for disposal, would appear in newspapers in October for public comment.
Among the more than 50 properties, are residential properties in Scottsdene, Mitchells Plain, Blue Downs, Khayelitsha, Goodwood and Elsies River, business sites in Philippi East, Langa and Gugulethu and community zoned sites - to be used for churches, crèches and early childhood development centres – in Delft, Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.
But while the city was making strides in asset disposal, De Lille said the actions of Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, “against all protocol and procedure”, would disrupt the city’s housing delivery.
De Lille said the national department had refused to release grant funding needed for housing projects.
“Indeed of all the things that can bring any project to a screeching halt, whether in the public or private sector, an interruption of cash flow is the most serious.”
She said the National Treasury had warned Sisulu’s department that it had acted with a “total disregard” for the legislative framework.
“I know that Minister Sisulu has been shuttled around from department to department these last five years but let me appeal to her to get up to date with housing legislation and consider her duty as a minister to serve public interests and not political ones.”
But Sisulu indicated in an earlier statement that the city, as well as the other five metros, did not qualify for level three housing accreditation and it was therefore “premature” for them to apply for the new municipal human settlements capacity grant. Level three accreditation would allow the metro to have full control over the provision of housing.
The city’s share of the national grant allocation would have been R50 370 000. Sisulu said there was concern that some of these funds would be used to appoint consultants instead of creating permanent structures.
Cape Town and the other metros have been asked to resubmit their business plans for a review of how the funds would be spent.