Affordable housing on the way

Beneficiaries of the Edward Street housing development with Ward 66 councillor William Akim. Construction on the development is set to start next year.

Housing has become a contentious issue with many of those waiting for homes taking to the streets in protest of the housing backlog in the province and country.

According to Amdec Group Property Developers, government has supplied approximately 3 million affordable houses over the past 25 years but it is not sufficient to tackle the need.

The company has stepped up, saying they have the capacity, capital and expertise to tackle the housing backlog by building an affordable housing development in Ottery.

James Wilson, chief executive officer of the Amdec Group, said private property developers are too often disincentivised to become involved, through being hamstrung by local government red tape and a lack of the co-operation needed to make housing initiatives a reality: “We are looking for engagement with not just the national government, but with provincial and local authorities, too, to make land available in key areas and big cities.”

He said they are committed to assisting in the provision of affordable housing as demonstrated recently with the announced plans to develop Golden Grove Estate, a R500 million affordable housing estate in Ottery.

The 11-hectare site will have one thousand affordable residential apartments.

“We are acutely aware of the need for affordable housing, and are delighted that our recent planning application in respect of Golden Grove Estate has been approved by the Municipal Planning Tribunal,” said Mr Wilson.

Construction will hopefully start before the end of the year.

Malusi Booi, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for human settlements, said the City is on board with the development and others of its kind and said next month a new strategy for human settlements will start to undergo extensive public engagement, after serving before the oversight committees of council.

He said the discussion has been ongoing for almost two years to create a greater partnership and better interventions in the department of human settlement to take on the housing backlog.

“This is crucial, as a City government – a local municipality – cannot be solely responsible or solve the challenges of urbanisation, increased informality and of more affordable accommodation on a larger scale. It needs all levels of government and private sector support and innovative, collaborative approaches to change the current trajectory,” he said.

Mr Booi said the City needs innovative, workable and constructive proposals to reimagine communities and build a better future.

Following up on the Edward Street housing project, also in Ottery where 126 housing opportunities will be available to beneficiaries, Mr Booi told Southern Mail the project’s planning approval is currently under way and construction is scheduled to begin on site in September next year.