PLANS: City's aiming for social housing subsidies

The City yesterday said it has intervened in the Tafelberg controversy by asking national government to declare the whole of Cape Town a “restructuring zone” to give it access to social housing subsidies.

This decision comes on the back of the provincial executive committee’s decision last week to proceed with a R135 million sale of the former Tafelberg School site in Sea Point to Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School, despite demands it be used for affordable housing.

Premier Helen Zille’s spokesperson, Michael Mpofu, said the province had been justified in its decision because Sea Point fell outside a “restructuring zone” so the province could not access national government subsidies to provide affordable housing.

But now Mayco Member for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron, said the City informed the national and provincial departments of human settlements of its intention to declare all of Cape Town a restructuring zone to speed up provision of affordable housing opportunities.

“In so doing, any restriction on the City’s intention to speed up the delivery of affordable housing opportunities will be eliminated,” Herron said.

However, Woodstock and Salt River had planned social housing projects since at least 2008, and those projects still hadn’t broken ground even though they were in a restructuring zone.