City defends Salt River rental increases as being 'market-related'
Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “The previous seven municipalities had different standard leases after the amalgamation and the formation of the City of Cape Town; the City is obliged to manage these leases. As far as possible, all old leases are being phased out in time and replaced with standard lease agreements for the purpose of consistency, compliance and good governance.
“The existing lease commenced on August 1, 1995, with a six months’ notice to vacate, and a rental charge of R220 per month with no annual escalation. In accordance with good governance, respecting the provisions of the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations (MATR), the City is obliged to contract viable properties at market- related rentals and review agreements periodically.”
According to the City, 275 residential properties are being reviewed, as required by the MATR. There are currently 50 leases which remain with a rental below R1000.
“These are similarly being reviewed taking into account the size and condition of the property, appropriate future use, the historical occupancy and rental affordability of current occupants. The City has a duty to all its residents to ensure that its assets are well managed, and in terms of the statutory processes, the occupants were offered a new lease agreement at a necessary increased rental representing 2019 market values,” Vos said.
The City confirmed that some residents had disputed their rental increases. Three disputes have been lodged with the Housing Tribunal.
Following the initial story on Monday, some weigh in on social media:
The City of Cape Town is actively trying to push poor people out.— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) October 21, 2019
Without so much as proper warning, it hiked rent by close to 2500% for some residents in Salt River. https://t.co/5of1kqbuLq
Malan and Verwoerd’s Group Areas Act lives on in modern day South Africa.— Sirr Raa (@sirr_raj) October 21, 2019
Why doesn't Cape Town just kick people of colour and the poor out?— Luyanda Nzama (@LuluNzama) October 22, 2019
Because I don't get how you can be part of the council and say you're not racist? https://t.co/IX1ydCRrmq
Gentrification at its finest— Kevy (@KevinIsaacPeter) October 21, 2019