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Today, I am pleased to share the City of Cape Town’s vision and commitment to move ahead with our work of redressing the imbalances of the past.

The City has turned a corner in its approach to affordable housing and to reversing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and forced removals which saw the majority of the Capetonians of colour moved to settlements away from the inner-city, excluding them from economic opportunities. Apartheid also created a fragmented and unsustainable city, especially for the poor.

The inner-city has become unaffordable to working-class residents due to increased land prices. As a result, residents and especially poorer residents are spending as much as 40% of their income on travelling costs.

One of the key commitments in our second term of office is to drive greater integration and to bring parity of services through the Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) and the new five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP).When we adopted the ODTP in August 2016, we established the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) in an explicit move to bring the functions of urban planning, formal housing and transport together.

Key to achieving our goals of spatial transformation is for TDA to implement the City’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) strategy which aims to create a compact and connected city.

We will do this by bringing people closer to economic development and providing affordable housing located close to public transport corridors. The aim is further to build integrated communities where households have economic and operational resilience.

The City recognises its responsibility, as a local administration, to go beyond merely delivering basic services to residents of the city. Our commitment is to continue transforming Cape Town into an inclusive and caring society.

As part of our commitment in the ODTP to integrate the city, we have identified several City-owned sites in Salt River, Woodstock and the inner-city for affordable housing development.

The City is looking to partner with the private sector, developers, social housing institutions, innovators and designers to think outside of the box and for us to together establish living environments that embrace new inclusive and creative solutions that mix housing types and tenure options as well as explore new technologies and designs.

We realise that we cannot do this alone and we have already adopted this approach with the Foreshore Freeway Precinct Prospectus by calling on developers to come up with proposals which must include a component of affordable housing for the City-owned land locked underneath the unfinished bridges.

Similarly, with this new inner-city social housing initiative, we need to form partnerships that will see mixed development with an emphasis on social housing being built closer to the city centre in an inclusive way. The use of City-owned land in this context is to mitigate the negative effects of gentrification and at the same time showcase progressive thinking in terms of design, density and housing mixes.

The City is determined to stop urban sprawl, reverse apartheid spatial planning, and build integrated communities that celebrates our diversity and cultures. This initiative will bring such development right into the urban core.

We are leveraging City-owned land and calling on the private sector to come on board with proposals to build integrated communities within the urban core for mixed income groups, with socio-economic opportunities and access to transport.

Despite income disparities and exorbitant land prices, we will demonstrate that all income groups can live in the inner city by leveraging City-owned land to build integration in the urban core.

Apart from the inclusion of social housing to cater for a range of income groups, the other three main criteria that have to be met in this initiative are: innovation and design, green technology, and long-term financial sustainability of the affordable housing.

We are looking for sustainable, integrated solutions for human settlements and bringing innovation into the plans with the use different types of building materials, not just brick and mortar, the use of green technologies and building efficiencies into design such as water and energy efficiency. This is an opportunity to create the standard that we can hopefully introduce across the board.

We are calling on all to submit their solutions for the development of the City-owned sites. In our mission to take Cape Town to the next level, we need to be bold and think out of the box to tackle and reverse the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.

The Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, will provide more detail about the sites and the legislative processes that will follow in the coming weeks.

This initiative is indeed another first of its kind and will pave the way for building more integrated, sustainable communities using the principles of TOD. This is a major turning point for Cape Town and our residents and we look forward to seeing how we can transform to build vibrant, integrated communities and continue making progress possible together.

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