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City of Cape Town’s draft Integrated Human Settlements Sector Plan 'too vague'

Taiwan informal settlement that is along the N2 in Site C in Khayelitsha. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Taiwan informal settlement that is along the N2 in Site C in Khayelitsha. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 7, 2022


Cape Town - Advocacy groups have voiced their concerns over the City’s draft Integrated Human Settlements Sector Plan, which the public has until Tuesday to comment on.

Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi said the plan was being developed as a component of the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and therefore outlined the Human Settlements contribution to the City’s five-year IDP for the new term of office from 2022 to 2027.

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Booi said the plan was aligned to the international, national, provincial and City legislation, policies and strategies within the human settlements, spatial and built environment context to ensure a holistic view towards the development of integrated human settlements.

“The City encourages residents to look through the Integrated Human Settlements Sector Plan and to submit their comments to us through the official channels,” Booi said.

Robyn Parkross, a researcher at Ndifuna Ukwazi, said despite being the City’s main implementation plan for housing delivery for the next five years, the document in itself was not detailed enough and no thorough processes have been put in place to achieve its objectives.

Parkross said the plan was, in fact, extremely vague. For example, the City plans to relocate over 15 000 people who were currently living on the City’s transport reserve, including people living on railway tracks and road reserves.

“This without any clear plan on how it will accommodate those people, where they will be moved to and how to ensure that they are not worse off than before their relocation,” Parkross said.

He said they were concerned that the City’s approach might again be to evict and displace people even further to the outskirts.

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Stop CoCT founder Sandra Dickson said those plans were as good as the paper they were written on if not implemented.

Dickson said the huge number of informal settlements “not recognised by the City” was proof that the City may have plans, but was not keeping up with the dire need out there to do advanced human settlement planning.

Parkross said in the strategic planning the City further noted their role was providing state subsidised housing, regulating the private market in order to provide homes and lastly as enablers to assist people to build their own homes.

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“Cape Town has 4 678 900 people, 1 462 156 families. A quarter (25%) of people living in Cape Town earn less than R3 500,” he said.

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