The City of Cape Town has recently announced that the sale of some 9000 council owned properties have created conflict amongst opposition parties slamming its decision to sell off homes to residents who have been paying rent for years.
Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said the initial agreement was simply for residents to rent however this has changed as the City wants to give tenants the opportunity to become home- owners.
“We are trying to get the tenants already living in the units to become homeowners. Initially when we drew up contracts, the only thing we said was it’s a rental agreement but that has since changed as we want to grant them the opportunity to own the homes especially those who are unemployed or depend solely on government grants,” he said.
Booi said those who wish to be subsidized should provide the relevant documentation.
“We will be assisting those prospective owners by subsidising them, which means that they will not be paying anything unless they have a set monthly income of R3500 and above, then only will they be asked for a fee,” he said.
To determine if existing residents qualify to purchase a rental unit, tenants will need to produce the following documents when visiting the housing offices.
– A payslip not older than three months
– An affidavit should tenants be unemployed
– Proof of self-employment and six months’ certified income and expenditure statements
– A confirmation letter from the South African Social Security Agency if tenants receive a social grant
– Identity documents for the tenant and spouse if applicable
Booi stated that the properties include free-standing and semi-detached houses in various areas.
“We are catering for residents all over the City, from Gugulethu, Valhalla Park, Mitchell’s Plain, Heideveld and Nyanga among others,” he added.
According to Booi, a total of 524 units were sold in the last five years out of the approximately 14 500 saleable units that were identified in 2013.
“We are very excited about the rental sales programme because it affords qualifying tenants, who are some of our most vulnerable residents, with the opportunity to be empowered as property owners,” he stated.
Booi made it clear that the City is under no circumstances to force tenants to buy the units however he encouraged them to consider purchasing as owning a property has many great benefits.
“The long-term benefits of tenants becoming property owners include having the security of owning their own property and not being limited by a lease agreement between a tenant and a landlord. The property will also become a financial asset when ownership is transferred to the new owner. It can thus be sold by the new owner to earn a profit, which can be used to purchase another property, if they so desire,” he stressed.