Salt River affordable housing development gets the nod

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, councillor Malusi Booi. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency
The City of Cape Town’s Council yesterday agreed to transfer the Salt River Market site for a mixed-use development that could deliver more than 820 affordable housing units to lower-income families. 

The City Council had, at its previous meeting on Thursday October 25, referred the request to transfer the Salt River Market site back to the relevant City departments for further clarification and analysis.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said; “I’m elated by council’s decision to agree, in principle, to transfer this City-owned land. The Salt River Market site is valued at R114.3 million, but council has agreed to make the land available at 10% of the price – R11.4 million – to a social housing institution for development in the near future. This is a progressive, forward-thinking decision in the interest of our residents, and in the interest of the greater public good.”

Recently, the City of Cape Town has been accused of blocking the development. Former DA councillor Brett Herron has lambasted his former party for failure to provide affordable housing closer to the CBD.

But the DA has maintained it is committed to addressing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.

Mr Booi said, “I also want to applaud council for breaking with our apartheid past when poor, mostly black families, were placed on the outskirts of Cape Town. This is indeed a historical day and confirms the City’s commitment to addressing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.”

The site currently houses the Salt River Market, the municipal hall, the derelict erstwhile Stables; and is bounded by Voortrekker and Bromwell roads and the railway line.

Mr Booi also warned that the development will not happen overnight.

“It’s very important to point out that this is an in-principle approval only. This is the first step in the process to implement the proposal to transfer and develop this City-owned land. The City still needs to draw up a development agreement with terms and conditions which is to serve before council for approval. It’s only thereafter, and once council agrees with the development agreement and conditions, that the site will be formally transferred to the social housing institution partner who will develop this land,” he said.