Premier calls for housing study on Sea Point site
PREMIER Helen Zille has ordered a feasibility study to test the viability of social housing on the contentious Tafelberg property in Sea Point.
More than 8 500 signatures were received after the Western Cape High Court ruled the provincial government must open a public participation process and await a decision by the cabinet on whether or not the land should be sold.
The High Court froze the multimillion-rand sale in May.
Sea Point residents Thozama Adonisi and Sharone Daniels, along with other workers supported by the Reclaim the City movement and the Ndifuna Ukwazi Trust, who approached the High Court on the issue, hailed the judgment as a “victory for the poor”.
They are adamant the land should be used for affordable housing.
In a statement issued yesterday by Zille’s office, Zille said the Department of Transport and Public Works had been mandated by the provincial cabinet to produce modelling in order for the cabinet to make an informed decision.
The Department of Human Settlements would also provide input.
Of the 8 583 comments received during the public participation consultations, 4 486 were in favour of upholding the sale of the erven to an independent school, while 4 085 wanted the land developed for social housing.
Twelve participants were in favour of a mixed- use approach.
Zille said: “In taking a decision, the cabinet is required to balance the various competing priorities in society, in line with our constitutional mandates.
“We must also take into account the myriad legislative obligations with which we must comply.”
She said they looked forward to testing the viability of social housing on the Tafelberg site, “based on sound financial modelling”.
“The modelling will look at all available social housing options, based on the prevailing subsidy options, so that a fair and rational decision can be taken.”
Ndifuna Ukwazi has welcomed this, but called for an “open and transparent” process. “Premier Helen Zille and her cabinet are commended for taking steps towards a well-considered final decision on the sale,” the organisation said.
“This is a victory for black African and coloured working- class people who need affordable homes in the inner city. The province has accepted that working- class people should be considered as potential tenants in the inner city.”
But the group also expressed concern about the involvement of the Transport and Public Works department, citing “recent revelations of lies and conflicts of interests related to the Tafelberg sale and attributed to officials within that department”.
This, they said, should dis- qualify the department from being “the authority in charge of securing this study”.
Tafelberg School on Main Road Sea Point has become the subject of controversy.