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Cape Town seeks to deliver on housing

31 Jul 2014

Since 2008 the City of Cape Town has bought land to the value of more than R378 million as part of their efforts to increase the delivery of housing opportunities.  

In the current financial year, R34 million has been earmarked for land acquisition for this project, but it is becoming increasingly clear that following a business-as-usual approach will not tackle the growing housing demand. 

The City sees the delivery of housing opportunities as a vital tool to enable redress, alleviate poverty and drive job creation. As such, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government are currently exploring new models to increase the delivery of housing in light of the ever-increasing demand in the region. 

In the current financial year, R34 million has been earmarked for land acquisition for this project, but it is becoming increasingly clear that following a business-as-usual approach will not tackle the growing housing demand. 

Large public sector housing programmes have been the major absorber of the city’s overall population increase in the immediate past. An area of 8 897 hectares, built in the last 30 years, has absorbed almost one third (one million by 2008) of Cape Town’s population. 

With the highest rate of urbanisation in the country, it is clear that the City can no longer rely on publicly held land as its primary source of land for the delivery of new housing opportunities. Increasingly, partnerships will have to be fostered so that progress can be made possible by working together. 

Cape Town’s Human Settlements Directorate is in the process of finalising a draft: a 30-year medium- to long-term human settlements strategy, which will drive long-term human settlement development, land acquisition and private sector partnerships in Cape Town. The draft strategy is premised on the need to increase the delivery of housing. 

It recognises that a medium- to long-term integrated human settlements plan, which crosses all city directorates, is vital. 

The draft strategy emphasises nodes designated for transport-oriented development to encourage both public and private sector human settlement investment to occur in transport corridors. 

Over the past 15 years, the population of Cape Town has increased by 46 percent (approximately three percent per annum). Based on the 10-year average annual growth between 2001 and 2011, the total Cape Town population is expected to grow by a further one million people by 2021 and by another one million by 2030, when the total Cape Town population will be an estimated 5.8 million people. 

Accelerating the delivery of housing is an important strategy for poverty alleviation and redress. Ensuring that land and housing can be accessed by all as an asset for wealth creation and empowerment remain key objectives of this administration. How to increase housing delivery to bring redress should be the question that every politician, resident, employer, business, community organisation and government official in Cape Town asks on a daily basis.

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