Cape Town. 120601. Marius Fransman visits Bishop Lavis and speaks at Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk to concerned community members about the closing of schools in their community. Reporter Aziz Hartley. Picture Courtney Africa

Cape Town - The Western Cape government and Cape Town city had more land available for housing than the national government, provincial ANC chairman Marius Fransman said on Monday.

Responding to Western Cape premier Helen Zille's rebuttal of demands by the ANC Youth League, Fransman said Zille was deceiving the poor.

He claimed land worth about R50 billion was available, but remained unused.

“There was a plan to create 5000 low-to-middle-income houses for porters on land between Constantia and Tokai... so the porters would not have to travel long distances to Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.”

Fransman said the project was later shelved.

He said land was sold off under the guise of using it for housing for the poor, only for it to be turned into golf courses and big property developments.

Former premier, now a member of the provincial legislature, Lynne Brown said the area between Blaauberg and Atlantis could provide three thousand houses.

But the provincial government was not interested in this, and wanted to push people back to the townships, Brown claimed.

The ANC Youth League staged a march last week, demanding that privately-and company-owned land in Constantia and Rondebosch be made available for housing for the poor.

Zille rejected this notion.

“This would require wholesale expropriation of residential property, resulting in the collapse of the economy and the rates base of the City of Cape Town,” she said.

“There would be mass job losses and a dramatic reduction in the tax revenue needed to subsidise free services and provide infrastructure in poor communities.”

If the province was to comply with this demand, mass impoverishment would result. The poor would become much poorer, Zille said.

Fransman said Zille did not have the authority to deal with poor people's problems.

The ruling party would push for a reduction in the number of provinces at its elective conference in December, he said. - Sapa