Opposition parties have slammed the City of Cape Town for its decision to sell approximately 9000 council-owned rental properties. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agencies (ANA) Archives.
Cape Town - Opposition parties have slammed the City of Cape Town for its decision to sell approximately 9000 council-owned rental properties, saying these houses should be given free to residents who have been paying rent for years.

The city’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, on Tuesday announced that properties up for sale included free-standing and semi-detached houses in Gugulethu, Valhalla Park, Mitchells Plain, Heideveld and Nyanga.

He said over the past five years, the city had sold 5524 units out of approximately 14500 saleable units that were identified in 2013.

“The rental sales programme, which is managed by the public housing department, is exciting because it affords qualifying tenants, who are some of our most vulnerable residents, with the opportunity to be empowered as property owners,” said Booi.

Andrew Arnolds, from the EFF, said he was shocked when he learned about the announcement to sell council houses which had been occupied by residents who in some cases had paid rent for more than 30 years.

Good Party member Brett Herron said: “It should be a rent-to-own process where, for example, a person having paid rent for 30 years should regard that as his/her own home. I don’t know the price the city is selling these houses at but if it is market-price related, then that it is unfair.”

ANC spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said: “We would have expected the city to have atoned for its mistakes by handing these houses to people who were victims of the Group Areas Act.

“We also expect the city to upgrade all townships.”

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