Progress in Ottery housing development

Ward 66 councillor William Akim with residents at a site visit.

Ottery residents were updated on the progress of the planned Edward Street housing development last week.

This follows protests in March during which residents put up structures on the field that will be used for the low income housing project. Those protesting wanted answers to when the project would start.

Community worker Wade Mathews said residents were becoming despondent.

“This housing project has been talked about for 20 years and we as beneficiaries are not happy because how long is it going to take for the work to actually start and for us to move into houses?” he said.

Mr Mathews also questioned the City’s screening processes and whether the project would be exclusive to Ottery residents.

Ward councillor William Akim along with Mr Mathews and other residents conducted a site visit with the project team on Tuesday June 4.

“I understand the frustration and I wanted them to understand the processes that are being followed. I am the fourth councillor who has worked on this housing plan and people who have been on the waiting list for over 25 years want answers and we support them,” said Mr Akim.

Professional planner Candice Maasdorp, who is a consultant for the project, said this was a starting point.

“We came to visit the site to see the layout and get a feel for the site in order for us to sit down and do the design. We also take a look at the existing civil services and as a due diligence check if those services are still on site and also to check if the plans are still consistent with the previous project team’s findings.”

Asked why processes was taking so long, Ms Maasdorp said it was because the development had been handed over to the new project team.

“There was an approved plan and we are taking the information from that plan, incorporate some of those plans and hopefully speed up the process. Also, spatial planning processes within the City of Cape Town have changed since the previous application plan. We also try to ensure that whatever new design will be prepared is in line with the City’s densification policy.

“There will be an opportunity for public participation at a later stage.

“The next step in the process is for an assessment to be done which will then be reported to the project manager and in turn to the councillor and the beneficiaries and the rest of the community.”