WATCH: City of Cape Town's new strategies to deliver on housing
Cape Town - As an administration, the City of Cape Town has said that they have delivered on more than 55 000 housing opportunities (which include formal Breaking New Ground (BGN) housing, serviced sites and rental units) over the past seven years.
- R2,1 billion is allocated over the medium-term for formal housing
- The bulk of the housing opportunities are being developed on well located land close to public transport, jobs, government services, and public amenities
- More than R4 billion has been allocated to formalising informal accommodation such as informal settlements and backyard dwellings over the medium term
- The City of Cape Town was the first metro to offer services to backyard dwellers residing on Council-owned property, such as Council rental units
- Approximately 9 100 Council-owned rental properties are available to be sold and transferred to qualifying legal tenants at a reduced price. The City urges its qualifying tenants to apply
- More than 13 000 title deeds of the original 25 000 titles linked to historic housing projects have been transferred to many vulnerable and senior residents while title deeds linked to current projects continue to be transferred
- The City is continuing its assessment of City-owned land, including in and near the Cape Town CBD among others, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for housing opportunities, be it for transitional-, affordable-, social housing, or state-subsidised housing
- The City has clearly started moving towards the new demands of an increasingly urbanised future and metros such as Cape Town will require progressive innovation, funding and support to tackle the demands of the future
- Renewed community and private sector partnerships are required
Over the same period, more than 13 000 title deeds of the original 25 000 titles linked to historic housing projects have been transferred to many vulnerable and senior residents while title deeds linked to current projects continue to be transferred.
Rental flat transfers
Since July 2013, the City has successfully enabled more than 5 000 tenants to becom e homeowners through its rental sales programme, which empowers our residents and unlocks an asset value for them and their families.
Approximately 9 100 Council-owned rental properties, which include free-standing houses, semi-detached houses, terraced or row houses and maisonettes are still available to be sold and transferred to qualifying legal tenants at a reduced price. I encourage our qualifying tenants to make use of this great opportunity to enter the property market.
R2, 1 billion has been budgeted for the development of new housing opportunities over the medium term, with R590 million budgeted for the current financial year. The 2018/19 budget specifically is allocated to 36 housing developments which are either in the planning phase, already under way, or in the process of being finalised.
These housing projects are situated in Nyanga, Atlantis, Heideveld, Fisantekraal, Grassy Park, Somerset West, Scottsdene, Hangberg, Durbanville, Bardale, Belhar, Delft, Gugulethu, Manenberg, Strand, Blue Downs, Dido Valley, Macassar, Harare, Imizamo Yethu, Valhalla Park, Masiphumelele, Brown’s Farms, Beacon Valley, Salt River, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Langa, Vrygrond, Retreat, Ottery and Philippi, among others.
The bulk of the housing opportunities are being developed on well-located land close to public transport, jobs, government services and public amenities.
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.
For the past few years, the City has been moving increasingly towards greater investment in formalising informal settlements and backyarder accommodation.
Due to the acute demand for accommodation, the metro must continue to position its programmes to look at enhancing the living conditions of residents in informal settlements and those residing in backyards through enhanced and formalised basic service delivery.
The national conversation regarding housing delivery continues to move away from the primary and historic emphasis on the delivery of brick and mortar houses and towards the upgrading of informal settlements and bringing services to backyard dwellers.
We therefore continue to:
- Look at the location of housing opportunities closer to urban centres such as to central Cape Town and other urban nodes
- increase supply of new housing opportunities through rental units and subdivisions
- open up new areas for housing development within and adjacent to existing developed areas of Cape Town
- provide greater support of higher-density, affordable apartment-unit investment through social housing partners around transport corridors and priority nodes
- undertake a focused programme to improve homeownership-related creditworthiness levels among Capetonians. The latter will require greater partnerships with micro and macro financial institutions
R4 billion allocated to formalising informal accommodation
In the 2018/19 financial year, the City has committed to spending more than R4 billion over the medium term to upgrade informal settlements and provide water and waste services to these residents. Electrification of informal settlements and backyard dwellings also continue.
Since 2014 the City’s Informal Settlements and Backyarder Department has installed 2 460 water and sanitation points to backyard dwellers on City rental property. The City plans to continue rolling out approximately 2 000 service points to backyard dwellers over the next three years.
More than R850 million of the R4 billion mentioned has been earmarked in the medium term for upgrades to informal settlements and backyarder services. Of this, R713 million has been earmarked for investment in backyarder service provision and the informal settlements upgrade programme. Some R150 million is budgeted for the delivery of electricity services to backyard dwellers residing on Council-owned property.
The roll-out of electricity services eliminates backyarders’ reliance on the main dwelling for access to electricity, as well as the potential for exploitation, unsafe connections and fire that comes with such an arrangement. Approximately R65, 6 million in Urban Settlements Development Grant funding was invested in these roll-outs in the 2017/18 financial year.
The City was the first metro to offer such services to backyard dwellers residing on Council-owned property, such as Council rental units.
Transitional and social housing
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.
This includes the provision of housing opportunities in all of the central business districts – not only the Cape Town CBD, Salt River and Woodstock, but also in smaller near inner-cities such as Bellville, Parow, Khayelitsha, Claremont, Mitchells Plain, Wynberg and Plumstead.
There are no quick fixes but we are absolutely committed to building integrated communities with different types of residential developments based on a mix of income groups and circumstances.
Going hand-in-hand with this vision is the imperative to sustain employment generating economic growth and to reduce accessibility costs for the urban lower-income households.
We continue to assess City-owned land, including in and near the Cape Town CBD among others, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for housing opportunities – be it for transitional-, affordable-, social housing, or state-subsidised BNG housing.
In addition, the development and availability of affordable rental accommodation in central areas of the city must play a key role in the future development of Cape Town.
The precinct-led development in Woodstock and Salt River is a pivotal new way of doing business which we will apply in all of the other precincts where we intend to provide affordable and inclusionary housing on City-owned land.
Partnerships are vital.
We have clearly started moving towards the new demands of an increasingly urbanised future and metros such as Cape Town will require progressive conversations, greater innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, adapted funding mechanisms and societal support to tackle the future.
With 85% of South Africa’s economic activity generated in urban areas, the majority of South Africa’s population already resides in towns and cities. This means that the emphasis must be on location-specific approaches, as each area presents distinct challenges and opportunities, rendering a one-size-fits-all approach to human settlements development inappropriate.
According to Statistics South Africa, Cape Town’s population grew from 2, 8 million in 2001 to approximately 4 million in 2016. The Community Survey 2016 indicates that the number of households increased by more than 1, 2 million which equates to an 18, 4 % growth from 2011.
If properly managed, urbanisation can offer opportunities for growth, social inclusion and the building of sustainable communities and human settlements. Therefore, the City needs to comprehensively and cooperatively plan for the impact of urbanisation.
We are thus continuing with our human settlements delivery review which will lead to a new strategy and which I look forward to sharing with you in the coming months.
Importantly, this strategy cannot be a City strategy alone. It must be a strategy for all of Cape Town and its people. Partnerships are going to be increasingly crucial for social prosperity and by working together, with business, civil society and all partners we will make progress possible together.
Highlights: large-scale economic enabling projects
Informal settlement upgrades near completion/under way:
- Mfuleni Extension ext. 2 nearing completion: more than 1 000 serviced sites at a cost of approximately R54, 1 million.
The project involves the provision of serviced sites on a single residential basis, which comprises single erven each measuring 90m² in size. The extent of the site, as well as its locality is relative to local economic opportunities and public transportation which has offered a significant opportunity to establish a substantial human settlement that will improve the quality of life for a number of households. The internal layout includes public open spaces and sites earmarked for early childhood development facilities, as well as formalised roadways and street lighting.
- Kalkfontein under way: 527 service sites at a cost of approximately R76 million.
The site is well located and accessible in terms of transportation routes and local economic development corridors. The site is approximately16ha in size and currently houses approximately 765 structures. The approved layout accommodates 833 opportunities. The project delivered 306 service sites in the 2017/18 financial year and the balance is due in the 2018/19 financial year.
Formal BNG housing under way:
The City’s Human Settlements Directorate, in conjunction with the People’s Housing Project (PHP) Support Organisation, has commenced with construction of the top structure phase of the Masiphumelele Phase 4 housing project. This project comprises of 227 BNG State-subsidised houses for qualifying beneficiaries from the Masiphumelele wetlands informal settlement and from Masiphumelele backyards. The expenditure on this project amounts to R85 million and includes money allocated for the bulk earthworks; internal civil engineering services for the provision of water, sanitation and roads; electricity reticulation; and street lighting.
Over the coming months, more qualifying beneficiaries will receive their own homes as part of the City’s commitment to provide 2 400 BNG houses in the area. We have handed over 488 houses thus far.
The City’s first transitional housing project in Pickwick Street is practically complete and the final snags are being addressed. We are currently in the process of obtaining an occupancy certificate for the site. This site will provide short-term accommodation to the residents who are currently living on the Pine Road, Woodstock site, which will be developed for social housing (affordable rental) opportunities. Furthermore, the supply chain management process is also underway to appoint a management agent for the site.
Salt River Market site:
Due process with regards to the Salt River Market site is under way. In December 2018, Council agreed, in principal, to transfer the Salt River Market site for a mixed-use development that could deliver more than 700 housing opportunities to families with various income brackets. The rezoning application for the land will be tabled at the Municipal Planning Tribunal soon. These housing opportunities will consist of:
- Social housing units. These are affordable rental units for families with a combined monthly income of between R1 500 and R15 000
- GAP units for families with a combined income of R22 000 per month
- Residential units where the monthly rent is capped at R13 000
The sod-turning for this project is on 26 February 2019. It will comprise 1 050 units when completed. The project is a result of strong partnerships.