‘Same from Cape Flats to south­ern sub­urbs’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL MOR­RIS

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.

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