Extract of speech delivered by Mayor of Cape Town.

The guiding philosophy of this administration’s policy positions is aggressive economic growth, to bring more jobs to Cape Town and to help more and more people out of poverty in Cape Town.

Mayor of City of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis

Mayor of City of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis

We can only make progress as a society if we obsess, day and night, about jobs and economic growth, which are fundamental to poverty alleviation. In this government, nothing else matters as much as this one overarching and supreme public goal.

The IDP we table next week makes this vision a reality and outlines how residents can play their part too, because we can only achieve our goals if we work together.

Working hand in hand with civil society will be a key focus to making our delivery impact so much stronger, and this means also working closer with the private sector to deliver more plentiful and affordable housing for Cape Town.

In this regard, we are making great progress on our Land Release Priority Programme, with a focus on four workstreams:

  • A more rapid pipeline of land release for social housing
  • Identifying large mixed-use sites for private sector development
  • Unlocking the massive potential of micro-developers
  • Developing an enabling planning environment to accelerate affordable housing delivery

I’m particularly encouraged by progress to enable micro-developers, because this sector is already delivering huge amounts of homes each year and can do much more with government acting as an enabler, not a blocker.

We are engaging lenders on financing and technical support for micro-developers, while exploring how the City can make life easier, for instance, via exemptions from administrative penalties, by developing off-the-shelf plans, and by starting ‘planning support offices’ in informal settlements.

While we are fully prepared to look within and shorten City processes, we are advancing an advocacy agenda for national government to release the huge pieces of unused state land in the city, which are at least 77 times the size of the land the city owns.

The city currently has more than 6 500 social housing units in the overall pipeline across 50 land parcels citywide. This includes 2 000 social housing units in the central Cape Town area, and a further 2 500 opportunities – either in the construction phase or close to it – along the Voortrekker Road Corridor and near important economic nodes.

Spades have been in the ground at Maitland for several months already, where 200 social housing units are under construction. In Woodstock, building plans for the Pine Road development were submitted for approval on 20 May by developer SOHCO. If all goes to plan, we will see construction start on this inner-city social housing project within a few months, which should enable tenanting by late 2023 or early 2024.

Dillon Lane – also in Woodstock – is set to deliver around 150 social housing units. I’m advised that it is possible to start construction within a year, and that both the Site Development Plan and building plan approvals can be completed within 2022. We will be pushing to get this done in the earliest timeframe possible.

And on the council agenda today are two exciting inner-city properties set to deliver around 760 social housing units alone, within broader mixed-used, mixed market developments.

Today we are seeking Council’s authority to advertise our intention to release Newmarket Street for development. This project is set to include around 365 mixed-market units and 165 social housing units. The second property on the agenda today is Pickwick, a major development, which should include some 600 social housing units. Today we are asking Council to approve the start of public participation on our intention to release the property, with a view to awarding the site for social housing.

We are determined to bring more properties to council in the coming months as our Land Release Priority Programme continues to gain momentum – watch this space.