Mixed reaction to City of Cape Town's sale of Salt River Market site

Council on Thursday approved the sale of the land to a social housing organisation after stalling on a decision in October, saying it needed more time to consider the proposal.

A view of Salt River. Picture: urbansalt.co.za

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is warning that its plan to build over 800 affordable housing units on the Salt River Market site won’t happen overnight.

Council on Thursday approved the sale of the land to a social housing organisation after stalling on a decision in October, saying it needed more time to consider the proposal.

Mayoral committee member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi says this is only an in-principle approval, and the city will not cut any corners on the project.

He says a development agreement still needs to be drawn up and that also has to get council approval.

But the ANC’s Xolani Sotashe has signalled a warning: “What we are requesting from whoever is going to be overseeing the project, look at the behaviour of the company that has won the bid. We have current experiences with these Communicare people.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters has rejected the transfer of land.

It says the project won't even partially alleviate the social housing shortage in the Salt River area.

Advocacy group Reclaim the City has reacted somewhat more positively, saying it's excited about the progress but will watch the development very closely.

The group’s Denver Arendse explains: “To speak the truth, some mentioned Communicare’s activities and what was stated in the papers about fraud issues. We need to watch them as well.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)