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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON

Note to editors: the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, made the following statement at the launch of the City’s new inner-city social housing initiative today, 13 September 2017. He announced the City-owned sites that will be made available to the private sector for the development of affordable and social housing in Woodstock, Salt River and the inner-city.

Building inclusive communities through reversing the spatial legacy of apartheid is a key priority of this government. South African cities should break with the past where our urban form is defined by poorer families living on the fringes.

This month we are commencing with the development of affordable housing opportunities at scale on well-located City-owned land.

The importance of this occasion cannot be overstated. Developing prime land for lower-income residents in Cape Town is a momentous occasion.

These sites are less than 5 km away from the Cape Town central business district (CBD).They are located within the Voortrekker Road Corridor Integration Zone (VRCIZ) – one of three integration zones where the City will, during our term of office, spend the bulk of our capital budget on infrastructure aimed to transform Cape Town’s spatial reality.

The significance of the location of these sites resonates when one bears in mind that the VRCIZ will link the Bellville, Maitland, Parow, Goodwood and Salt River CBDs with the Cape Town CBD via Voortrekker Road. By prioritising dense, transit-oriented growth and development in this integration zone, the City seeks to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport.

The announcement today of the location of these City-owned sites is in line with the commitment in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan to do everything possible to reverse the impact of apartheid spatial planning.

With the development of these sites, we are beginning to create a new urban fabric based on access and inclusivity.

The development of 11 City-owned sites in Salt River, Woodstock and the inner-city for inclusionary and affordable housing opportunities must also assist us to preserve the social diversity and unique character of areas like Woodstock and Salt River in the midst of rapid urbanisation and rising property prices. Furthermore, it must expedite the provision of affordable housing on well-located land close to work opportunities and public transport.

Apart from their proximity to CBDs, these sites are within walking distance of public transport, social amenities, schools, hospitals, and clinics.

We estimate that, once completed, the developments will benefit at least 4 000 lower-income households.

Five City-owned sites will be made available to the private sector for the development of inclusionary and affordable housing opportunities:
· Erf 12814 in Pickwick Road in Salt River – the site is approximately 3,3 ha and is a few hundred metres from Victoria Road where residents have easy access to minibus-taxis and buses
· Woodstock Hospital site in Victoria Walk in Woodstock – the site is 18 411 m² and within walking distance of MyCiTi bus stops and Victoria Road where residents have easy access to minibus-taxis and other bus services
· Woodstock Hospital Park opposite the hospital – the redevelopment must include a public open space and incorporate the crèche that currently operates from this site
· Erf 14888 in New Market Street in Woodstock – the site is 8 483 m² and is situated next to the MyCiTi bus Route 261 that operates along New Market Street
· Erf 5667 in Canterbury Street in the inner-city – the site is 2 730 m² and is within walking distance of higher-education facilities, shops, numerous MyCiTi bus routes and other public transport. The site is currently leased to Fruit and Veg City

In addition, three sites have already been allocated to social housing institutions for the development of social housing opportunities. The statutory land-use applications are under way and we expect construction to commence in due course:
· Two erven along Pine Road and six erven along Dillon Lane. The Pine Road development will commence first, with the Dillon Lane development as the second phase
· The Salt River Market in Albert Road will be a mixed-use development with a combination of affordable housing opportunities – from social housing (subsidised rental units for households with a monthly income of less than R15 000) to GAP rental housing (for households with a monthly income of between R3 500 and R20 000) to retail and office space

Two sites have been identified for Cape Town’s first inner-city transitional housing projects:
· The development of a portion of the Pickwick site, located on the corner of Pickwick and Copperfield Roads in Salt River, for transitional or semi-permanent housing is already under way. The development will initially house residents who are currently living on the Pine Road site
· Erven 12010 and 12011 in James Street in Salt River will initially be developed as transitional housing for those residents who are currently living at the Salt River Market

Two City-owned sites in the Woodstock area – one in Upper Coventry Road and the other also in Pine Road; as well as a City-owned site consisting of eight erven along Upper Canterbury Street in Gardens, will be available for development at a later stage.

More information about the sites, the strategic overview, design and housing typologies, closing date for development proposals from the private sector for the five City-owned sites, and the bid evaluation process, among others, is included in the prospectus. We will issue the prospectus within the next three weeks, if all goes as planned.

The prospectus will be a public document, meaning all interested and affected parties – from prospective developers, to residents and possible beneficiaries – will be able to access and read the document online.

I want to reiterate that the responsibility of creating a more integrated Cape Town is not ours alone.

Only a collective effort will undo the legacy of apartheid.

Building inclusive communities where we all have access to opportunities so that we can realise our full potential as individuals and as a city will require determination, perseverance, and cooperation.

Going forward, the City will follow a partnership approach where we will collaborate with all relevant stakeholders and, most importantly, with the people who currently live and work in Woodstock and Salt River.

This is a long-term commitment.

We need our residents, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations in the housing realm to support us.

I have already met with some residents and ratepayers’ associations over the past weeks and yesterday we hosted our first informal housing dialogue with developers from the private sector and representatives from civic organisations.

We will host public information sessions about the City’s vision for this precinct soon after the prospectus has been issued. Residents will also have the opportunity to view the private sector’s development proposals for each of the five sites and to submit their preferences to the City.

I will provide more specific information about the venues and dates of the public information sessions, dialogues, workshops and other relevant forums in due course.

We are excited about the future of these neighbourhoods. We are looking forward to forging collaborative partnerships as we charter a new course.

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