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De Lille asks Zuma for land

The Cape Town mayor has written an open letter to President Jacob Zuma.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Thursday wrote to President Jacob Zuma asking him to free-up defence force land for low-cost housing.

The mayor says the Wingfield Military Base in Goodwood and Youngsfield in Lansdowne are perfect sites for the new development.

The City of Cape Town has been grappling with rapid population growth and a land shortage for some time now.

De Lille says she hopes Zuma will heed the city's call for more land.

"Wingfield and Youngsfield are big pieces of land that the city can use to provide decent housing and bring integration to our city. They are both close to transport routes."

City bosses say their housing waiting list is growing by about 4,000 new applicants each month.

The current housing backlog in the Mother City sits at more than 200,000.

But the municipality's Tandeka Gqada says this is also a national problem.

"The City of Cape Town is not the only city with a housing problem. We are doing everything in our power to make sure that we address that challenge."

On Wednesday, hundreds of informal settlement residents took to the streets demanding housing and basic services.

They handed over a memorandum of demands to de Lille and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

Zille has 21 days to respond.