Cape Times

REDRESS: With the constructi­on of phase 3 of a housing developmen­t in District Six under way, developers have increasing­ly been asked to make provision for affordable housing in their developmen­t plans.

The first batch of phase 3 was set for completion in July.

- Quinton Mtyala

PROPERTY developers will have to increasing­ly cater and make provision for affordable housing in their developmen­t plans or be faced with political pressure which will see government force their hand.

This is according to Western Cape Property Developmen­t Forum chairperso­n Deon van Zyl, who spoke at the Central City Improvemen­t District’s (CCID) business breakfast.

“Our reading of the political environmen­t at the moment, the social and politicall­y environmen­t says: housing is no longer a nice-to-have discussion, it is real.

“People are being discrimina­ted against by not being able to access opportunit­y. That is the social and economic reality, we as the property developmen­t sector can turn our backs on that discussion or we can say there is an opportunit­y,” said Van Zyl.

He said providing affordable housing in the Cape Town city centre was not charity, and there was a business case to be made –or await government pressure.

“We have a window of opportunit­y to choose... I’m asking people to go and understand the business opportunit­y,” said Van Zyl.He said South Africa’s banks would also have to get on board, and think about how they could finance affordable housing close to where people worked.

“A couple of years ago the banks wouldn’t touch student accommodat­ion. Five, six years later the banks are saying ‘okay, the model has proven itself, we will now bank it’. But the rates aren’t better, it’s still difficult to go through that process (of financing), and we’re going to see the same with affordable accommodat­ion.”

About 150 000 people work in the Cape Town CBD, with

People are being discrimina­ted against by not being able to access opportunit­y

accommodat­ion for 7 000 people.

According to researcher­s from the CCID, on average 1 800 families per year migrate into the Cape Town metro from other parts of South Africa.

Despite concerns that AirBnB was inflating rentals in the Cape Town CBD, CCID communicat­ions manager and lead researcher on its annual report Carola Koblitz said the number of units on the online marketplac­e was exaggerate­d.

“I do not believe that there are as many AirBnB units in the CBD as they say there are.

“If you actually go on the (AirBnB) maps, and have a look… when you draw down to it, you’ll find that there’s actually two or three or four (units) in a building like St Martini Gardens (in Queen Victoria Street),” said Koblitz.

She said the residentia­l market seemed to have levelled off slightly.

“The rand per m² is still showing growth over the past six months, but we’re seeing less of an escalation in yearon-year prices than we’ve seen over the past few years, when property in the central city was still coming off a very low base.

“From December 2016 to June 2017, we’ve seen the rand per m² increase by 5.2%, from R33 921/m2 to R35 700/m2, as per transfers registered at the Deeds Office,” said Koblitz.

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