The City of Cape Town is to chase up its application for housing accreditation in an effort to fast track the delivery of housing in the Cape metropole.
"By removing this layer of red tape, the City will be able to deliver housing more efficiently without having to wait for provincial approval on new projects," says Cllr Dan Plato, Mayoral Committee Member for Housing.
This is one of the key recommendations contained in the City's five year Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which is now available for public comment together with the City's draft budget of R19.8 billion for 2008/9.
"This five-year strategy sets budget priorities which have far-reaching effects on the well-being of the 3.3 million residents of Cape Town. It is thus essential for citizens and stakeholders put their views and needs to the City Administration," says Dr Martin van der Merwe, Director: IDP.
During a series of public workshops held at all 23 Sub-councils, residents listed housing, safety and security, health, job creation and provision of basic services as the most important priorities in creating a sustainable city.
"Our IDP is guided by the Constitution, which clearly defines the responsibilities of each sphere of government, namely national, provincial and local.
"National government is responsible for bulk water, disaster management, police services, justice and defence, whereas provincial government is responsible for schools, hospitals, housing, libraries, ambulance services, liquor licences, museums and economic development.
"The local authority is responsible for the provision of basic services such as water, electricity and refuse removal, wastewater treatment, housing infrastructure, local roads, law enforcement, sport and recreation, parks and cemeteries, primary health (clinics), environmental health, economic development and emergency services," says Dr van der Merwe.
"Although the City is not directly responsible for housing, the pent-up demand for housing, with 350 000 families on the waiting list, is a highly emotive issue which can degenerate into a racially polarising and socially destabilising factor," says Cllr Plato.
"During the past 20 years, urban growth in Cape Town has been ad hoc, resulting in uncoordinated public investment in infrastructure. The result has been ineffective and unsustainable urban development.
"Urban sprawl, due to the location of informal settlements along the city's periphery, has placed immense strain on the City's finances by requiring new bulk and link infrastructure extensions," says Cllr Plato.
"We need to put in place policy and spatial planning frameworks that will facilitate the development of integrated human settlements.
"A central IDP objective for 2008 is to implement the Informal Settlements Upgrade Master Plan, and transform dormitory suburbs into areas which support a greater mix of land uses, offer a range of amenities and are socially mixed facilities," says Cllr Plato.
The City also aims to develop 9 900 new housing opportunities by 2009, increase rental stock through social housing partnerships, redress land ownership inequities by providing housing based on restitution claim settlements, and facilitate gap housing programmes through partnerships with banks and developers.
"Generally, the City's spatial development strategy will be containment, densification and infill. It will seek to limit Cape Town's footprint and make more effective use of existing infrastructure capacity.
"New developments will also be located on vacant and under-utilised residential, industrial and commercial land," says Cllr Plato.
Members of the public have until 30 April to provide comments on the IDP and draft budget, which can be viewed at the Cape Town Civic Centre, and at all City libraries and Subcouncil offices.
Written submissions can be posted to the City Manager at Private Bag X9181, Cape Town 8000 or by fax to 021 400 1332.
For more information, please contact the IDP Office at Tel: 0860 103 089 or Fax: 021 400 5915 / 5881 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 APRIL 2008
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 3719
CLLR DAN PLATO
TEL: 021 400 1304 CELL: 076 832 5505
DR MARTIN VAN DER MERWE
TEL: 021 400 1346