Sub-council votes in favour of affordable housing

A motion for affordable housing for the city was passed unanimously at the Sub-council 16 meeting on Monday June 18.

The motion was brought by councillor Dave Bryant who called for the immediate development of the City’s housing policy.

Sub-council members agreed that the affordable housing policy had to be inclusive to everyone.

This was welcomed by members of activist organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi who were present at the meeting.

Councillor for Ward 77, Brandon Golding said he supported the motion because he believed that the former military base on Erf 81, between Bo-Kaap and Tamboerskloof, could be a perfect space for social housing.

He said to tackle the housing matter in a meaningful way, the 12 hectares of land, owned by the national government, has to be considered.

Mr Golding said it was important for the City to try and negotiate with the national government over the land so the process can be sped up for inclusive affordable housing within the city centre.

Ndifuna Ukwazi’s co-director, Jared Rossouw, said this was an important symbolic gesture from the sub-council.

He said it was a step in the right direction and the City has the obligation to ensure all land use advances spatial justice, including in the private sector.

He said currently the by-law was silent because the City has failed to do its job, so the policy has to ensure that all exclusive developments provide access to black and coloured residents by including a fair proportion of affordable housing on-site or nearby.

“Councillors from some of the richest wards in the City are beginning to see and hear the experiences of poor and working class people who are struggling to find affordable housing, or are being evicted or displaced,” he said.

He said the way forward now was for the City to develop an inclusive housing policy in consultation with all stakeholders and in the interim it should provide guidance to the Municipal Planning Tribunal so that it stops approving private developments that are exclusive racial enclaves where they do not include affordable housing.