Cape Town promises first affordable housing in CBD since 1994

This map shows the area that is to be developed. It is situated between two unfinished portions of freeway. Image courtesy of City of Cape Town
This map shows the area that is to be developed. It is situated between two unfinished portions of freeway. Image courtesy of City of Cape Town

Cape Town – Central Cape Town will get its first affordable housing project in years, a city official announced on Thursday, GroundUp reports.

Households that earned between R3 500 and R15 000 a month would qualify and there would be a split between rented and owned housing, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport Brett Herron said.

This was part of the Foreshore Freeway Precinct development, a six-hectare portion of land under and between the unfinished freeways on the northern edge of the central business district.

The move followed a public outcry over the lack of affordable housing in central Cape Town.

Bids for the project had to include an unspecified percentage of affordable housing, which could be built within the development, or somewhere else within the CBD.

Herron said the percentage was undefined as the city believed if developers were given a target percentage, only that amount of affordable housing would be created. Now, developers had to compete on how much affordable housing they intended to deliver.

The prospectus for the project would be issued on July 8 and be on display at the Civic Centre for three weeks for public participation. The bid evaluation committee had to take this input into account.

There was no deadline for the completion of the project yet. Bidders would be required to give a timeline. 

Activist organization, Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU), welcomed the announcement of the creation of affordable housing, since no affordable housing had been built since 1994.

However, NU remained sceptical about the amount of affordable housing and its accessibility to low-income families. 

“The city's commitment to undoing the spatial legacy of apartheid cannot be demonstrated in a piecemeal manner,” NU head of research Hopolang Selebalo said a statement.

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