City denies delaying Salt River housing project

Acting Cape Town mayor Ian Nielson.
The City of Cape Town has rejected claims made yesterday by former City councillor Brett Herron regarding the proposed development at the Salt River Market.

During his resignation, Mr Herron alleged that there was a “cabal of white DA councillors” who were blocking the development.

Cape Town acting executive mayor, Ian Neilson, has since denied this.

“The Salt River Market council agenda item, which served before council on Thursday October 25, remains a demonstrable step towards achieving our goal. The proposed transfer of the land at a discounted value would facilitate the development of the provision of much needed social housing stock within Salt River,” said Mr Neilson.

The City said, if approved, the development of the site and ongoing management would be undertaken through a partnership arrangement with a leading social housing institution, in this instance Communicare.

Mr Neilson explained the delay on the project.

“Given the uniqueness of this project and the importance that this administration places on good governance, it was recommended that the item be referred back for further technical clarification. Councillors cannot be forced to approve projects through gratuitous statements that question their motives, until they are satisfied that the proposal is fair, equitable and in the interests of the public. Our country is awash with poorly conceived projects that were approved through broad claims that seek to silence due diligence.”

He said City officials were working with Communicare to clarify the various aspects raised.

Mr Neilson reiterated the City’s commitment to building affordable housing closer to the city centre.

“It is simply not true to suggest that council is opposed to the project. Rather, all that has been decided is that council members be given the opportunity to fully apply their minds and to consider all aspects of the proposal before ratifying it at a council meeting. Once we have received the necessary clarification and had the opportunity to satisfy ourselves that the proposed development is in the best interests of council and the residents of Cape Town the item can be re-tabled for consideration.”