Housing Development Agency appointed to upgrade Cape Town informal settlements

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: Armand Hough. African News Agency (ANA)

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: Armand Hough. African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 25, 2023


The Human Settlement Department has appointed the Housing Development Agency (HDA) as the implementation agent for the upgrading of informal settlements in the City of Cape Town.

This was revealed by Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane when she was responding to parliamentary questions from IFP MP Sbuyiselwe Angel Buthelezi.

Kubayi-Ngubane said her department allocated the City of Cape Town R111 million in March 2023 to relocate 16 informal settlements that are currently on unsafe and land prone to flood disasters, and also people residing on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) railway line in Khayelitsha.

Kubayi-Ngubane said a stakeholder meeting was held in May between her department’s informal settlements and emergency housing branch, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, HDA and the City of Cape Town to discuss the progress of the relocation process and challenges.

“It was reported to the meeting that the HDA has proactively procured two land parcels at a cost of R72 million, with the intention of fast-tracking the relocation process.

“However, the challenge is that the City of Cape Town does not have a funding agreement with HDA that will enable the municipality to transfer funds to HDA for the land parcels and to be the implementing agent for the provision of basic services.

“It was then resolved from this meeting that an urgent meeting between NDHS, National Treasury and City of Cape Town to conclude on the most legally viable approach to resolving this matter, which might warrant a possible roll-over of funds considering the June 30, 2023, end of the financial year,” she said.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the HDA has been appointed as the implementing agent for upgrading all informal settlements in the City of Cape Town.

She said a follow-up meeting between her department, the National Treasury, the provincial Human Settlements Department and the City of Cape Town will be convened before the end of July.

The planned meeting, Kubayi-Ngubane said, would conclude the financial and non-financial implementation plan for the project and a final report will be submitted to her for consideration and approval.

Earlier this month, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) heard that delays in the relocation of the informal settlements on the railway reserves in Nyanga and Philippi impacted Prasa’s ability to bring the Cape Town Central Line corridor to full operation.

Prasa has instituted an interim temporary plan, Operation Bhekela – shifting some of the settlements within 10m of the railway line in Nyanga and Philippi.

The affected community will be moved to Stock Road station and the city will provide them with services once relocated.

Transport Deputy Minister Lisa Mangcu said the three spheres of government were involved in addressing the issue of the relocation of the informal settlements on the railway reserve.

“There is an implementation protocol which seeks to address this,” he said.

The Department of Transport has a service level agreement with the HDA and social compact with affected communities on what needed to be done.

“What seems to be a major challenge is the issue of finding suitable land for the people to be relocated,” Mangcu said.

Cape Town deputy mayor Eddie Andrews said they want the relocation of those who unlawfully occupied the railway reserves.

“We are absolutely committed to ensure we remove the unlawful occupiers.

“Forty percent of Prasa users need that line,” Andrews said.

He noted that out of parcels of land that were initially identified for relocation, two were found to be viable for relocation.

Andrews indicated that the city stood ready to render services when the land was acquired and the people on the reserves were relocated.

Cape Times