Some R2,8 billion in total has been allocated for the City of Cape Town’s Human Settlements Directorate over three years, according to the draft Budget 2022/23 which is out for comment until 3 May 2022.

Budgeted items include much work on informal settlements upgrades and the enhancement of basic services, public housing maintenance, setting the wheels in motion for social housing projects and a myriad of Breaking New Ground housing and hostel transformation projects across the metro.

Highlights for 2022/23 include:

  • R818 million: Breaking New Ground, social housing, and incremental development projects
  • R284,7 million: Public Housing Maintenance
  • R30 million: Alternative building technology
  • R19 million: Backyarder service enhancement
  • R370 million: Informal settlements upgrading projects

‘City human settlements budgets and projects stretch over many years due to the scale and complexity. While the City continues its dedicated commitments, it is also looking at new ways to enhance and drastically upscale affordable housing solutions, driven by partnerships and innovation. We can see that already with an allocation of R17 million to fast-track land release to entice private sector involvement in the development of opportunities. This is part of the new Land Release Priority Programme, which is an action step to deliver on Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis’s Mayoral priorities. There is also an allocation of R30 million for alternative building development, which aims to deliver opportunities faster and at scale. Strong investment in informal settlement upgrades and services enhancement is also important as we continue to move away from the heavy historic emphasis of State-subsidised brick and mortar housing for all in need. The State simply does not have the money.

‘We need a new direction built on innovation and strong public private sector partnerships. This was also the aim of our very recent Affordable Housing Indaba, the first of many engagements with various private sector partners that can provide the funding, resources, skills, and ability to deliver at scale. The city is positioning itself as an enabler of affordable housing, moving away from its traditional role of provider, because it simply is not feasible to continue the same track, considering the demand out there. This is in line with our new Human Settlements Strategy. Let us find ways to Build Cape Town together and make sure there is a place for all,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements.

City efforts under way to simplify land release:

  • The City is working to simplify land release processes within the confines of the national regulations for Municipal Asset Transfer, including discounting land released for housing and other social purposes.
  • The city is lobbying the National Minister to amend national legislation to simplify state land release. This includes constrained development funding processes via the Social Housing Regulatory Association, and regulatory restrictions on cross-subsidising social housing to make it viable.
  • The City continues to lobby National Government for the release of several nationally owned mega-properties that are the best located for affordable housing in Cape Town, with a potential yield of over 100 000 units. These properties include Wingfield and the completely under-utilised sprawling parliamentary village of Acacia Park.

Land Release Priority Programme includes work on:

  1. A more fluid and rapid pipeline of land release for social housing
  2. Identifying large mixed-use sites for private sector development
  3. Unlocking the massive potential of micro-developers
  4. Developing an enabling environment to accelerate land release

Social Housing pipeline

The city currently has more than 6 500 social housing units in the overall pipeline across fifty land parcels citywide.

This includes 2 000 social housing units in the central Cape Town area, and 2 500 opportunities – either in the construction phase or close to it – along the Voortrekker Road Corridor and near important economic nodes.

Central Cape Town social housing projects and approximate social housing unit numbers:

  • Maitland (+/- 200) is under construction.
  • Projects nearing construction phase include Pine Road (+/- 240) and Dillon Road (+/- 150) in Woodstock, and the Salt River Market (+/- 200).
  • Projects undergoing land use management processes to be made available for social housing include sites within the proximity of New Market Street (+/- 200); Pickwick Street (+/- 600); and the Woodstock Hospital precinct (+/-700).
  • Western Cape Government-driven projects, supported by the city, include the Conradie Park development in the inner-city feeder suburb of Pinelands, Founders Garden in the CBD, and Helen Bowden Nurses Home in Green Point. All of these have significant potential for social housing unit yields.