The City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Dan Plato (left), together with Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi (right), announced details relating to the City’s human settlements milestones achieved and strategies going forward. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Opposition parties have poured cold water on the City of Cape Town’s new housing plans as laid out by mayor Dan Plato and mayoral Committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi on Sunday.

“Cape Town, as is the case with the country as a whole, will urgently need to come to terms with rapid and continued urbanisation over the next decades and the associated growth of informality in accommodation due to financial considerations of the lower- to medium-income groups.

“Cape Town has the added challenge of the lack of land due to the metro’s geographical location on a peninsula,” Plato said.

At a press briefing, Plato said at least R2.1billion had been set aside for formal housing and R4bn for the upgrade of existing informal settlements and addressing backyarders.

“The problem is people cannot jump the line in the housing list. Many of these people enter the City from other cities and demand that the City provide them with another subsidy,” Plato said.

“We want to formalise informal settlements as better places for people to live in.”

But opposition parties dismissed his plans as “attention seeking” and meant to “confuse the people of the province”. EFF provincial secretary Melikhaya Xhego said: “Plato should stick to the agenda of his predecessor Patricia de Lille by utilising the old unused buildings in town for formal units, especially for the youth. He is bluffing because the country is now looking forward to elections 2019.”

He also said the EFF was opposed to the selling off of land. “Plato must tell the public where is he going to build those houses; there is big open land in the areas of Atlantis and because most of the land there belongs to white people. Instead of building houses (there), the City keeps on building houses for the poor in wetlands around the Khayelitsha area,” Xhego added.

Leader of the ANC caucus in the City Xolani Sotashe said “talk is cheap”. “They must not continue to mislead the people because this is them being opportunistic and election campaigning previously the City was unable to spend its funds that national government gave them. How are they planning on spending this money then?”

Sotashe also challenged Plato to pursue the Foreshore development. “We challenge them to pursue those plans that were shelved by the City’s cronies. And they must release the City-owned land for housing,” he said.

Booi said: “We continue to work towards reversing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning by promoting transport-oriented development.

“At the same time, working to create affordable and inclusionary housing on well-located land close to public transport and job opportunities is a cornerstone of our efforts to bring redress and greater parity of services and opportunities for all residents in Cape Town.”

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