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City of Cape Town willing to withdraw auction of certain properties should HDA make formal offer

The national Human Settlements Minister wrote to mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis to say that the HDA had assessed the property, among others, and might be prepared to make a formal offer. Picture: Screenshot

The national Human Settlements Minister wrote to mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis to say that the HDA had assessed the property, among others, and might be prepared to make a formal offer. Picture: Screenshot

Published Feb 4, 2022

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said it had invited the national Housing Development Agency (HDA) to express formal interest in one of 18 properties in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain which it would be auctioning.

The live, virtual auction by the High Street Auction Company will take place on February 10, at 11am, at the Cape Town Stadium.

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This week, opposition leader in the legislature and ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore called for the auction to be suspended to allow for a detailed look at the properties and those which could be used for social housing.

The City said in a statement: “The property is due to be auctioned on February 10, 2022, for mixed-use development by the private sector, which would include much-needed housing opportunities for the Eastridge market and commercial space, such as convenience stores.

“However, should the HDA be interested in developing the property instead, the City would be prepared to withdraw the site from auction and sell it to the HDA on condition, inter alia, that the site is developed within five years, or it reverts to municipal ownership.”

The national Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, wrote to mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis to say that the HDA had assessed the property, among others, and might be prepared to make a formal offer.

After assessments on two small adjacent sites in College Road, Claremont, the City and the HDA said it was too small for “viable state-subsidised housing developments”.

“Other residential properties on auction are zoned as ‘single residential’, and are only immediately suitable for individual family homes, of which there is a great demand in Cape Town,” the City and the HD said.

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Head of Research and Advocacy at Ndifuna Ukwazi, Michael Clark, said: “The City’s disposal of publicly owned land, for a short-term cash injection, in the context of a profound affordable housing and segregation crisis, is indicative of the City’s myopic approach to the value of public land and its failure to prioritise public land to advance spatial justice, through the delivery of affordable housing and provision of other public amenities.

“Public land is an invaluable public resource that should serve a social function, rather than being used to bolster the already sufficient coffers of the City.”

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