By Anees Teladia
The national Department of Human Settlements has identified five significant portions of land in the Western Cape to be zoned for the purposes of housing development. The identification of these plots of land has been welcomed by provincial government, which hopes to soon use the land to urgently address the provincial housing shortage.
The areas of land to be zoned for development are: the Culemborg railway ground, the Denel property between Strand and Khayelitsha, the Ysterplaat Air Force Base, the SAS Wingfield base and the Youngsfield Military Base.
Minister of Human Settlements in the Western Cape, Tertius Simmers says that the province hopes the land will provide much needed relief to thousands of poor and homeless citizens waiting on housing.
“The thought behind national government giving us this land will be to ensure that the possible 93 000 beneficiaries on our waiting list can have low-cost housing units closer to the CBD, economic opportunities and the public transport system.”
“The addition of these pieces of land could really change peoples lives for the better.”
With South African society internationally recognised as one of the most unequal in the world, Cape Town is a city which, through empirical observation, can be given as a prime example of South African inequality. There are clear lines of social and class division throughout the province and many suffer from economic exclusion due to insufficient low-cost housing opportunities and a lack of access to transport.
“One of the commitments I have made as a provincial minister is to accelerate the delivery of not only housing opportunities, but to accelerate the improvement of peoples’ quality of life,” said Simmers.
Simmers also indicated that he would continue to engage with national Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, to establish an official date for the “redirection” of the land.