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Tuesday Oct 08, 2013

Developers kept in the dark about Cape Town's 'gap market' plan

Developers are set to have a special meeting with the Western Cape government about building affordable housing on state-owned land in the Cape Town metro area - but the government doesn't want to say which land it is.

Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela placed adverts in weekend and daily newspapers calling developers to meet him in Cape Town on October 21.

When the Cape Times asked Madikizela's spokesman, Bruce Oom, for a list of properties the department was considering developing, he said 'the amount of land available and owned by the department is not public information'.

Oom said the department's focus with this initiative was not on subsidy housing but to provide housing in the 'gap market' for people earning more than R3 500 a month but less than R15 000.

Oom said the government was 'not going to be totally prescriptive with respect to a particular development mix'.

'The onus will be greatly placed on developers to indicate through their development proposals what are the market demands in a particular area,' he said.

Oom said details of the properties and the parameters within which the development was envisaged would be sent to developers after the meeting.

Madikizela has also proposed discussing problems facing the housing market in the metro area.

Oom said financing, planning and environmental approvals were among the problems that had been an obstacle in the past.

'The department is not going to develop the property itself and will require developers to source their own funding.

'The development costs will be lowered through the provision of land to the developers,' said Oom.

He said development was unlikely to start before the financial year ended in March next year.

Cape Times


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