The City of Cape Town has given a breakdown of the housing register, saying that it is strictly controlled against political and outside influence. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town has given a breakdown of the housing register, saying that it is strictly controlled against political and outside influence. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

SA’s housing crisis: City of Cape Town explains how its housing register works

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has given a breakdown of the housing register, saying that it is strictly controlled against political and outside influence.

The City of Cape Town’s Housing Needs Register allows that only legally registered beneficiaries are able to get state-assisted accommodation, according to the Allocation Policy.

The City explained that it is based on first come, first served and takes age and special needs into consideration.

“It is strictly controlled against political and outside influence.

“Outside parties do not have the right to interfere in the process or decide who gets a house and who does not as they will then likely look after their supporters only,” the City said.

Registered beneficiaries must deal directly with the City.

How does the selection work?

* Rental opportunities: Applicants considered for rental opportunities may reside anywhere within the metro and have an option of indicating their areas of preference, including the unit type and size. Currently, only rental units that are vacated are re-allocated to applicants on the City’s register. Applicants are assisted in order of the date of application.

* BNG housing: Applicants are selected in terms of their area of residence as provided to the City, and in line with the approved Allocation Request Form. This form specifies the percentage of applicants assisted per the area where they reside and as well as a smaller percentage of applicants on the Register residing outside of the specific source area. This is fair and is done due to the high housing demand and not all areas have appropriate land for large developments. There is also not enough money to build houses for all in need, all at the same time.

The system is highly regulated to ensure that there is fairness and a systematic approach as the need for affordable housing in South Africa is big.

Residents do not need to pay to register or to receive a state-subsidised unit if they are a qualifying beneficiary.

City’s Mayco member for human settlements, Malusi Booi said: “It is important to understand this is a fair and transparent process and that a third party may not disrupt the process or make promises of opportunities.

“Outside parties do not have the right to interfere in the process or decide who gets a house and who does not as they then will look at their supporters only. Registered beneficiaries need to deal directly with the City.

“The City considers housing opportunities on a first-come, first-served basis, and takes age and special needs into consideration. We encourage residents to please keep their details updated so that available housing opportunities are not missed,” said Booi.

Status Check

  • Register on the Housing Needs Register online (
  • Once successfully registered, please keep personal details updated. This includes: identity number, marital status, residential address, contact details and household income.
  • Inform the City if the household has a member with a permanent physical disability.

Some of the City’s housing opportunity options include:

– Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses (formerly RDP houses):

State-subsidised BNG houses, which are commonly referred to as low-cost houses, are specifically allocated to qualifying beneficiaries who are registered on the City’s Housing Needs Register and whose household income does not exceed R3 500, among other national and provincial qualifying criteria

– Community Residential Units (CRUs) (also referred to as Council Rental Units):

CRU accommodation refers to the existing or newly built City-owned rental housing properties that include multi-storey units, row houses, cottages, duplex units, hostels and pensioner cottages

- Social Housing Programme:

Social housing developments offer affordable rental accommodation to qualifying applicants. In accordance with the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, governed by the Social Housing Act, social housing is a rental or cooperative housing option for households earning between R3 501 and R15 000 per month

- Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP)

Providing site and service; tenure and enhancing basic services

- FLISP subsidy for those earning above R3 500

- Some Gap housing opportunities and subsidy plots

Cape Argus

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