An affordable housing project close to Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront has been approved and will move forward – much to the delight of Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille.
The rezoning application was approved and will allow for affordable housing to be built on one of the country’s most valuable state-owned properties, the Cape Town CBD’s Somerset Precinct.
“The City of Cape Town’s Planning Tribunal approved the province’s application today,” said Zille in a statement on Tuesday. “We are committed to maximising affordable housing on the remainder of the precinct, which has been our position from day one. This rezoning approval enables us to do that.”
The Premier added that the plan includes building over 300 affordable housing units on the Helen Bowden Nurses Home part of the precinct and that this is just the start.
Zille also said that she welcomed the fact that the Tribunal has recommended the condition that the province must consider increasing its number of residential units and must also increase the number of social housing opportunities that each residential phase can accommodate.
The provincial government has pioneered a “Better Living Model”, which aims to address Cape Town’s shortage of well-located affordable houses that are close to both employment and economic opportunities within the city. This challenge is compounded by the thousands of people moving, from rural areas and other provinces to the city each year in search of a better life.
The proposed Better Living Model Game Changer will assist in alleviating this problem by creating affordable, integrated housing opportunities close to the Cape Town CBD.
“The province intends to apply this model at the Somerset precinct,” Zille said.
The rezoning being approved enables the Somerset Precinct to take its place among the province’s flagship affordable housing projects and includes the Conradie Hospital site in an innercity feeder suburb.
The Premier also added that the Belhar CBD development is also proceeding well into its second phase.