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Tuesday Oct 02, 2018

Wrangle over Bo-Kaap land continues

It seems Bo-Kaap residents housing problems are far from over as the City said it had yet to reach an agreement with the national government to hand over a piece of land that could ease the housing crisis in the area.

The discussions about this land parcel have been ongoing for a number of years now, without any progress to date.
Should the national government permit the City to acquire this property, we would propose that it be developed for the provision of affordable housing opportunities for hundreds of families who are registered on the City’s housing database.

These include residents from the neighbouring Bo-Kaap, who would qualify for state-subsidised housing opportunities, said the mayoral commitee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

The City announced in July that a military base in Tamboerskloof had been earmarked for affordable housing by the City for Bo-Kaap residents.

The largely defunct military base -- Erf 81, could either serve social housing or mixed-use housing needs, and holds a possible solution to the housing problems in the Bo-Kaap.

Since the formation of the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) I have been, in my capacity as the mayoral committee member responsible for the development of formal housing, liaising with the National Housing Development Agency (HDA) to discuss mechanisms for the acquisition of critical parcels of government-owned land, among which the large parcel of land adjacent to Bo-Kaap that belongs to the national government, Herron said.

However, the promised land is already occupied. Erf 81 is owned by the Department of Public Works and is home to about 20 dwellers who have occupied the land for more than 20 years.

Bo-Kaap Civic Association chairperson Osman Shabodien said: We need that land to urgently be transformed into social housing, but it looks like there is a political agenda being pushed, and as residents we refuse to be part of a political football game.

In July law enforcement dismantled Bo-Kaap residents shacks. Many residents have been on the housing waiting list for up to 20 years, and share a a house with others.

 
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