Zille Rejects Housing/policy 'To Avoid/another Gateway'

Cape Times (South Africa), March 18, 2009 | Go to article overview

Zille Rejects Housing/policy 'To Avoid/another Gateway'


BYLINE: ANEL POWELL

MAYOR Helen Zille has rejected a proposed housing allocation policy for the City of Cape Town, based on changes to national housing guidelines, because she says she wants to avoid another N2 Gateway controversy.

"I have a problem with this (policy). I get the same feeling as I did when we got rid of prime (city-owned) housing land for the N2 Gateway project. I was not properly advised on that," she said at yesterday's mayoral committee meeting.

"I don't trust all the new amendments that have been made nationally, the new housing codes."

Zille said she needed to see "every single document" so that she could "unpack" the allocation policy. She was concerned that race would be used as a criterion for housing allocations, as had happened in Delft when N2 Gateway houses were illegally invaded.

The N2 Gateway project was supposed to provide 22 000 housing units by 2006. Initially a joint project of the city, province and national governments, the project is now managed by the national Housing Department.

The city was stripped of project responsibilities in June 2006, with the national department saying the building of housing was not a municipal competency.

The proposed city housing allocation policy is based on changes to the national housing code, which determines how provinces and municipalities implement housing policy.

It stipulates how tenants will be chosen to fill vacancies in council rental stock and how backyard dwellers and residents from informal settlements will be considered for new housing developments.

The policy also provides criteria for the selection of backyard dwellers and people in informal settlements.

In terms of the policy, an allocation committee of officials from the city and the provincial housing department will choose beneficiaries for new housing projects. …

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