Salt River market Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – As the call for affordable housing in the inner city has grown louder, the City’s Transport and Development Authority’s portfolio committee yesterday vowed to ensure the proposal for the Salt River Market site was presented at the next council meeting.

Newly appointed Mayco member for transport and urban development Felicity Purchase said they would complete all “checks and balances” by next month to ensure the project could finally get started.

Purchase’s predecessor, Brett Herron, recently resigned from the DA, charging that the party had refused to support the disposal of the Salt River Market site.

Herron said he fought with the party to get the project started, but a “small cabal” championed that the recommendation be removed from the council agenda.

At yesterday’s meeting, it came to light that the land was identified in 2007 to be suitable for housing, and four years ago the City accepted social housing giant Communicare’s proposal.

Communicare's general manager for property development, Thabo Mashologu, said the site could hold 723 rental units, of which 216 would be for social housing; 100 for GAP housing; and 407 would be market-related rental units.

“The project represents a slight shift from the traditional social housing model as it is a mixed-use development,” Mashologu said.

The proposal was accepted by opposition party members. The ACDP’s Charlotte Williams and the ANC’s Bheki Hadebe said the project was long overdue.

“As the ANC, we advocate integration to give people a sense of belonging and dignity,” Hadebe said.

Williams said she was concerned about the pace at which the project was taking off: “It needs to be speeded up.”

Cape Times