Pleas for property prices

2017-06-06 06:00

Ten buildings are under construction in Sea Point, with another nine in the planning stages.

This was revealed by the Sea Point Improvement District during a recent ward 54 committee meeting.

However, the developments bring more than just investment to the area.

Suzette Little, Mayco member (North), says, from a Law Enforcement perspective, there has been an increase in noise nuisance complaints, including building works – especially over weekends – in the area. “The increased number of tourists in the area has also given rise to street entertainers coming into the suburb to perform for reward. These types of performances invariably generate a lot of noise and as a result we receive many complaints relating to this,” she says.

Law Enforcement works closely with the City of Cape Town’s street people unit to give social support to homeless people but also to address transgressions of the relevant bylaws, she adds.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, of Sea Point for All, says new developments and increased property prices are slowly driving out residents who have lived in the area for years. “While we need more residential units, we also need them to be affordable for a broad range of Capetonians. The flats currently being built are unaffordable for most. Rents are increasing, with low-income earners being entirely squeezed out. This is impacting massively on working class people, some of whom have lived in Sea Point for decades. Many are living in squalid conditions, facing eviction constantly, with no hope of being able to afford to rent a decent flat in Sea Point.”

Based on the 2015 property valuations supplied by the City of Cape Town, property value in Sea Point has increased more than 61% over a nine-year period, says Johan van der Merwe, Mayco member for finance. Sectional title properties have seen a 36% increase over nine years.

Jacobson adds: “We need considered densification, where local residents have been consulted and are part of the process. All of us should be working towards an inclusive city and we need our local government to reinforce this through legislation and dedicated social housing in central neighbourhoods like Sea Point.”

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, says the City must mitigate any displacement of residents who have lived their entire lives in suburbs that are now experiencing high growth in property prices or are facing displacement for other reasons.

The City has approached national and provincial government to have the whole of Cape Town declared as a restructuring zone so that affordable housing opportunities can be included wherever suitable land is available. “There is currently some uncertainty as to whether ‘central business district and surrounds’ includes areas like Sea Point, for example. In an effort to remove any uncertainty, we are proposing to extend our restructuring zones, so that no area is excluded in future.”

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