Patricia De Lille bashes DA over affordable housing in Cape Town
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Cape Town - GOOD leader Patricia de Lille has lashed out at the DA, saying it was telling “blue lies” for claiming there was a shortage of well-located land for affordable housing in the City of Cape Town.
The two parties have been at each other’s throats over the release of government-owned land, since the start of the local government election campaign.
Last week, the DA requested that the national government immediately surrender its lease for Acacia Park and other parliamentary villages, in order to provide housing for the people rather than politicians.
It also requested that the national government immediately begin the process to sell, terminate lease agreements or release state land such as Ysterplaat, Wingfield, Youngsfield and Culemborg to the City of Cape Town, for development in partnership with the private sector.
On Monday, De Lille, who is also is also the minister of public works and Infrastructure, said her party supported calls by civil society that the use of large pieces of land for military purposes be reassessed and the land or portions of it be made available for housing.
She said that as then mayor of Cape Town, she had actioned the call. The Department of Defence had commenced the assessment of its operational requirements.
“This work begun months ago.”
De Lille said the housing at Acacia Park was intended for MPs who did not live in Cape Town.
“If the DA has a proposal to do away with state-provided housing for public office-bearers, then this must be tabled with the appropriate authority.
“In the case of the National Assembly, this would be the Speaker of Parliament. I am not in a position to terminate this arrangement and evict the MPs who use these homes.”
She said the Western Cape government provided free housing to its premier and MECs.
“If the DA is serious about public office bearers relinquishing their state-provided housing, they have not demonstrated this where they govern. I have access to the Western Cape provincial property immovable asset register which lists more than 450 vacant properties in the custody of the provincial government.”
De Lille said the City of Cape Town had thousands of land parcels ready to be used for housing.
“The claim that the city cannot provide affordable housing because it has a shortage of land is a lie. When I was mayor, I requested a land audit. The property management department found 3 000 properties it didn’t even know the city owned.”
She said that in 2017, 11 parcels of land were identified in Woodstock, Salt River and the Inner City for affordable housing purposes, but those were cancelled after she quit the DA.
But DA mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis has said his party’s analysis of the land controlled by De Lille and the national government showed it was was 72 times bigger than all the identified city-owned sites combined.
He said it would provide between 13 times and 70 times as many homes for Capetonians as all the city-owned sites combined.
“My commitment is firm: we will release more well-located city-owned land, and faster, to deliver more affordable accommodation for Capetonians. But, as this analysis shows, the real potential game-changer for affordable housing in Cape Town is the land controlled by Minister De Lille,” Hill-Lewis said.