Patricia De Lille
Patricia De Lille

Good Party is part of housing problem

By Opinion Time of article published Oct 19, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The opinion piece “Integration poses threat to DA’s City of Cape Town” refers (Cape Times, 10 October).

It is astounding how often the Good Party repeats the lie that the City of Cape Town has cancelled inner city housing projects.

These projects are going ahead despite many challenges, including constrained national grant-funding, legislative red tape, and the co-ordinated building hijackings of two flagship properties by Ndifuna Ukwazi’s Reclaim the City campaign in 2017.

Work on these inner city parcels of land, in fact, preceded mayor De Lille’s tenure, and has continued afterwards.

Where the City has adjusted strategy for these properties, this has tended to result in a higher projected social housing yield, for example at Salt River Market.

Regular public updates are released, and it is patently false disinformation that projects have been cancelled.

Central Cape Town Social Housing projects at various stages include:

Projects nearing construction phase include Pine Road (about 240 social housing units) and Dillon Road (+/- 150) in Woodstock; Salt River Market (+/- 200); and Maitland (+/- 200).

Potential projects at early feasibility stage in the inner city pipeline include the fruit and veg site in Roeland Street, Cape Town, among other opportunities.

Projects undergoing land use management processes to be made available for social housing include New Market (+/- 300); Pickwick (+/- 400); and Woodstock Hospital precinct (+/-700).

Woodstock Hospital, one of the City’s largest priority projects in central Cape Town, has favourable conditions for development but has been delayed by orchestrated building hijacking which occurred in 2017.

The City has since sought to unlock the known potential of the site for social housing, while following the correct legal processes/routes.

Western Cape Government-driven projects, supported by the City, include the Conradie development in the inner city feeder suburb of Pinelands, Founders Garden, Foreshore Precinct and Helen Bowden Nurses Home in Green Point (also subject to a building hijacking by Ndifuna Ukwazi). All have significant potential for social housing unit yields.

Good have ardently supported Ndifuna Ukwazi’s building hijackings of March 2017, which makes them part of the problem.

Contrary to Good’s false accusation of a lack of will on our part, the City has all the will in the world to stand up to the depraved political forces blocking social housing projects.

We will do what it takes to deliver social housing despite these obstacles, and despite the moralising hypocrisy of Good and Ndifuna Ukwazi.

Minister De Lille also sits on the largest well-located mega-properties in Cape Town for housing – with a yield of potentially over 100 000 units. These properties include Wingfield and the completely under-utilised sprawling parliamentary village of Acacia Park, where a few MPs occasionally reside.

It is high time the minister walked the talk and released the real game-changing land for housing in our city.

  • Malusi Booi| Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements

Cape Times

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