While there has been a rise in backyard flatlets in Cape Town’s townships like Khayelitsha since the pandemic, the City of Cape Town‘s regulations affecting low-cost rental units have been deemed “rigid”.
A report compiled by Development Action Group (DAG) in collaboration with intergovernmental bodies such as the Lincoln Institute on Land Policy, Human Sciences Research Council, the Treasury and Human Sciences Research Council stated this and also added that the City’s process is expensive, hindering small-scale developments.
These concerns come amid the City counsellors’ bid to introduce new ways of administering small-scale land developments after listing areas that it found suitable for the backyard flatlets.
Cape Town Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews said the sector contributes to alleviating poverty, transforms previously neglected areas and creates jobs. “The City is acutely aware that over-regulation will nullify the potential of the sector.”
DAG’s report is in support of the housing units initiative but highlights potential barriers for small-scale developers and stresses carefully orchestrating the regulations, and proper financial incentives to grow the market formally.
Measures in form of exceptions from building plan applications and administrative penalties provided the municipal accounts are up to date according to Andrews.
City officials will be on the lookout and prepare for the “low road of overcrowding, insecurity and instability”. The development process is, however, not meant to compromise the public health, public safety, structural stability, fire requirements, and liveability of the surrounding neighbourhood said, Andrews.
Picture: Cape Town Tourism /UK