A flood of objections to the City’s draft budget has asked for a land audit to be done because of the need for housing in the city. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives,
Cape Town - A flood of objections to the City’s draft budget has asked for a land audit to be done because of the need for housing in the city.

City chief financial officer Kevin Jacoby said: “Submissions made to the human settlement directorate relate to the need for housing across the city from both informal and formal communities. Residents are requesting new developments/housing opportunities and GAP housing for people living in informal houses, backyarders and indigent people such as the homeless.”

According to a report presented earlier this week in the mayoral committee portfolio meeting an excess of 4 000 comments were received from the public, of that number human settlements received 85 comments, water and sanitation received 1 982, and energy and climate change received 2 615.

It was proposed that the City council conduct a land audit to determine the available land within the city for housing development and that the sale of council-owned land to developers should be prohibited.

There were requests for informal settlements and backyarders to be given equal services as homeowners.

These services include their own water meter devices and access to water, dedicated electricity meter units, and dedicated waste bins.

Housing advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi said the City council should immediately undertake an audit.

“If the City does not already have a comprehensive database of all properties that it owns then it should undertake an audit immediately.

“However, what is more important is making sure that city-owned land is actually used for the benefit of all people in Cape Town, and not just for the select few. Public land should only be sold in exceptional circumstances when it truly isn’t possible to use it for the public good,” said Nick Budlender, researcher at Ndifuna Ukwazi.

City media manager Luthando Tyhalibongo said: “The City is constantly assessing land for various purposes, which is similar but more intricate to that of a land audit in itself.

“Property and asset management laws and regulations and the City’s development policies, such as transport oriented development, guide the City’s approach. All comments are however considered and responded to.

“The City is the only municipality to provide janitorial services and refuse removal seven days per week in informal settlements to provide services to backyard dwellers on council-owned property.”

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Cape Argus