The City of Cape Town has 28 social housing projects in the planning or construction phases and five social housing projects have been completed to date. Its commitment to affordable housing, including Gap-, social-, inclusionary- and affordable market housing in and near urban centres aims to develop a greater spatial equality in Cape Town.

Affordable housing in Cape Town. Image credit: IOL

Affordable housing in Cape Town. Image credit: IOL

The City has been careful to manage expectations as transforming the spatial patterns of Cape Town, as is the case in towns across South Africa, will not happen overnight. The housing economy is also a complex sphere that must be approached with a focus on partnerships and innovation while dealing with great demand and also, historical legacies of injustice and inequality.

Salt River Market

In central Cape Town, one of the most exciting projects that we are currently driving is the development of the City’s Salt River Market site that could deliver 850 housing units, which include both Gap-market and social housing. The final number of units will be influenced by design development that is a characteristic of developments in general. Much work is under way.

Pine Road and Dillon Lane

Furthermore, the City’s Mayoral Committee on 27 August 2019 recommended to Council for approval the sale of vacant land in Pine Road and Dillon Lane which is proposed for development by a social housing company. In May 2019, residents who were living in the informal settlement in Pine Road were moved to the Pickwick transitional housing site, making available the land in Pine Road to provide approximately 240 social housing (affordable rental) opportunities.

Fruit and Veg and New Market Street

The City will also be facilitating the rezoning applications for the Fruit and Veg site in Roeland Street and a site in New Market Street. Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the rezoning applications when they are submitted to the City’s Planning Department for processing.

Furthermore, a feasibility analysis for the redevelopment of the Woodstock Hospital which includes the adjacent public open space has been commissioned and is currently being undertaken by a team of consultants.

There is also much work under way in other urban centres of Cape Town as there is a great demand for affordable housing in other well located urban areas too, not only in central Cape Town.

Projects completed

Social housing projects that have been completed include developments along Koeberg Road in Brooklyn, in Vryburger Avenue in Bothasig and on a site in Scottsdene. The City continues to assess City-owned land, including suitable land in and near the Cape Town CBD and other urban centres to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for affordable housing opportunities.

Social housing at a glance

  • It is rental or co-operative housing for low income individuals or households earning between R1 501 and R15 000 per month.
  • It is managed by accredited social housing institutions (SHIs).
  • SHIs are solely dependent on rental income. They receive no operational grants. They are able to service their debt finance through rental income.
  • The City has nothing to do with the day-to-day management of SHIs, the rental amount or evictions for not paying.
  • Before potential beneficiaries can apply for social housing, they are required to register on the City’s Housing database.
  • Projects are developed on well-located, accessible land in and near urban centres.
  • As with any rental contract, tenants formally enter into lease agreements. The landlord is the SHI. Tenants must pay their monthly rentals.
  • If tenants do not adhere to their lease agreements, the responsible SHI will follow the necessary legal process.
  • It is not low-income subsidised government housing.
  • It is managed with security and access control.
  • The City may discount City-owned property for social housing developments to make projects economically viable.