‘Same from Cape Flats to southern suburbs’
GRANNIES, students or young couples living in small units in the back gardens of leafy suburbs are backyard dwellers by another name.
All are agents of densification, according to senior city official Riana Pretorius, and represent a private sector response to urbanisation and the housing challenge.
“I struggle with the term ‘backyarder’,” Pretorius said. “When you go out to the southern suburbs, densification is happening, but in an elegant or orderly way, with granny flats or outside quarters accommodating students.
“You might not have the picket fences on the Cape Flats, but it’s only the visuals that determine which are granny flats and which are backyard shacks,” she said.
“These are the same products that are there for the same economic reasons. These are housing products, and we should have a better, generic word for all of them.
“Well, the backyard community is the private sector getting involved.”
The risks of overly dense backyard dwellings were tragically highlighted when two people died in the fire which partly destroyed this assembly of units in Parkwood three years ago.