DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis at Acacia Park
DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis at Acacia Park

City mayoral candidates spar over land for housing issue as campaigns begin

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 20, 2021

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Cape Town - The issue of public land for housing is emerging as one of the political hot potatoes in the race to lead the City of Cape Town.

DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis cast the first stone when he accused the national government and particularly former Cape Town mayor and current Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia De Lille, of not caring about housing for Capetonians in need.

Hill-Lewis said that DA is ready to release city-owned land in well located areas to unlock more affordable housing options, and social housing, for Capetonians and was ready to take the fight to national government in order to get it to release its vast tracts of land to the private sector so it could build homes for Capetonians.

“Nowhere is the obstinance of the national government’s refusal to release state-owned land more glaring than at Acacia Park, a massive 56.8 hectare plot of land that is currently used to provide housing to politicians rather than to the people.

“Instead of empowering the private sector to build homes for Capetonians at Acacia Park, Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille, recently announced that R88 million would be spent on upgrading accommodation for MPs, most of whom are currently housed at Acacia Park.

Good party mayoral candidate Brett Herron jumped into the fray and said that the DA and Hill-Lewis have no track-record of delivering well-located housing despite 15 years in government in the City.

“When Patricia De Lille and I tried to use city owned land for affordable housing in the city centre we were stopped by the DA. There was no attempt prior to this and there has been no attempt since we left in 2018.

“On November 1, when voters go to the polls, it will be exactly three years since my resignation from the DA. In that time the DA cancelled all of the affordable housing projects we launched in September 2017,” said Herron.

ANC provincial head of elections Cameron Dugmore said the DA is captured by old money property developers, from whom they took instructions.

“Our ANC Mayoral candidate , when announced , will outline the ANC’s vision for reversing apartheid spatial planning and establishing integrated human settlements in the City and in our rural municipalities

“Hill-Lewis must explain why the DA provincial government has not released its own land for affordable housing. Tafelberg is a case in point. Helen Bowden (Somerset Hospital) another, as is Woodstock Hospital.

“Instead, they are selling off City land every month that could have been used for housing . The DA is an elitist party and a racist one. They have no interest or political will to reverse apartheid spatial planning in the City and rural towns. The DA’s track record in the city since before 2011 to date, proves that beyond any doubt,” said Dugmore.

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Cape Argus

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