Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has approved a public participation process for the controversial proposed Newmarket Street housing project.
The move comes after an outcry following the publication of a notice last year announcing the City’s plans to lease out the site in Cape Town’s Central City to a private company to be used as a parking lot.
This particular public participation takes place within the prescripts of the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations (MATR) Act for the intended long-term rights to use, manage and control the property for social housing for a period of 30 years.
The project is located just a short walk from the Cape Town city centre.
Launching the process, Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said the proposed Newmarket Street project had a desktop valuation of about R90 million.
Booi said: “This is part of the City’s planned development of more than 2 000 affordable housing opportunities on well-located pieces of land in and near urban centres across the metro to enable greater spatial equality.
“The City continues to assess all suitable City-owned land across the metro for social housing development.
“Our intention has always been to develop affordable housing opportunities in urban centres across the metro in an inclusive, fair and ordered manner. Social housing developments are truly complex and intricate with a host of legislative requirements to adhere to before development can take place.”
Booi said that other planned central and metro-wide projects were also progressing, such as the Pine Road and Dillon Lane, Salt River Market proposals and the development plan for the Woodstock Hospital.
Reacting to the news of the public participation process, Ndifuna Ukwazi spokesperson Michael Clark said: “It is encouraging to see that the City is beginning to actively redress spatial apartheid through acting on its constitutional and legislative obligations to develop well-located affordable housing in this area.
“But we are concerned at the slow pace of progress. This site was one of 10 other sites earmarked for social and affordable housing back in 2017, yet in this time only the Pickwick transitional housing site which houses a couple of dozen residents has been realised.
“The extent of the affordable housing crisis, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, demands greater urgency from the City.”
Members of the public are encouraged to comment on the proposal until June 7 and can visit www.capetown.gov.za/HaveYourSay for more information.