Patricia de Lille and mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town Brett Herron addresses media on Cape Town sites prime for affordable housing opportunities Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
Patricia de Lille and mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town Brett Herron addresses media on Cape Town sites prime for affordable housing opportunities Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

De Lille tours Cape land available for affordable housing as spat with DA continues

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 28, 2021

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Cape Town - GOOD party leader and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille and DA mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis have exchanged accusations about the issue of land available in Cape Town for affordable housing projects, with each accusing the other of playing politics.

De Lille spoke while on a visit to two prime Cape Town sites for affordable housing opportunities owned by the City that she released while serving as City mayor in 2016 and 2017.

These were the car park at Food Lover’s Market, corner of Canterbury and Roeland streets, and a car park that occupies part of six hectares of land in and around the unfinished Foreshore freeways.

De Lille, accompanied by Good party’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Brett Herron, said this parcel of land was made available in 2016 on condition that the development included a transport solution and affordable housing.

She said: “I have access to the Western Cape Provincial Property Immovable Asset Register which lists more than 450 vacant properties in the custody of the provincial government.

“Some of these properties are detailed in the Central City Regeneration Programme released by the provincial government in 2011 by former MEC Robin Carlisle.

“That plan, now a decade old, claimed that it wanted to achieve densification by developing a percentage of the residential stock for affordable housing using provincial public land.

“Ten years later, and not a single residential unit has been delivered, let alone a single affordable housing unit.”

Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Before De Lille’s news conference, Hill-Lewis released the results of detailed research and modelling work the DA has undertaken to address the housing shortage in Cape Town.

He said: “The most significant finding of this analysis is that, if released for housing, the land controlled by Minister de Lille and her ANC colleagues in the national government is 72 times bigger than all the identified city-owned sites combined.

“While I am committed to the release of the 10-hectares of land owned by the City of Cape Town for housing development, the truth is that these small bits of land on their own will hardly make a dent in the housing shortage in our city.

“In contrast, the release of the gigantic 725 hectares of Acacia Park and the military bases under control of De Lille and her ANC colleagues has the power to massively and sustainably reduce Cape Town’s housing shortage.”

Herron meanwhile dismissed as a joke Hill-Lewis’s proposal that the Acacia Park parliamentary village be released for public housing purposes.

“This is not a serious proposal because the DA is in government in the Western Cape where their MECs, who do not have a home within 50km of Cape Town, are entitled to live in fully furnished provincial housing free of charge.”

He said that if the DA was serious about public office bearers relinquishing their state-provided housing, they should lead by example.

Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

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