Housing questioned

The Strandfontein Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association meeting via Zoom.

Strandfontein residents want the City of Cape Town to verify information they collected to finalise a development framework, including the building of approximately 1 400 breaking new ground houses.

The site, bigger than 130 rugby fields, Erf 1212, bounded by Spine, Strandfontein, Baden Powell and Witsands roads, could soon be transformed into a new suburb.

The residents voiced their concerns and demanded that their area “not become a dumping ground for low cost housing” during a Strandfontein Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SRRA) meeting via Zoom on Thursday April 1.

The City’s human settlements department project manager, Bernardus Wentzel, talked them through the draft Strandfontein Integrated Housing Development (SIHD) framework.

He said the national Covid-19 lockdown had hampered work to a large extent and that the actual work on site could only start when the country was on level 4 restrictions last year, to start with a household survey and for geotech samples to be dug.

Mr Wentzel said the framework was still at pre-investigation and that findings would be presented to the community in terms of proposals and a framework plan.

He said the plan was to create a range of housing opportunities including gap housing – units for those who earn between R3 500 and R22 000 a month; Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) – a housing subsidy for first-time home buyers; market and formal subsidising housing within an integrated urban environment enhancing social and economic opportunities.

“There is a great need not only for subsidised housing in this area,” he said.

Mr Wentzel said he is also querying some of the findings.

“Some of these reports are in draft forms and that all of the findings would be in final form.

“I’m also interrogating (why it is) based too much on census data instead of residents being questioned,” he said.

Their study showed that there were 228 households on site and 91 percent of the structures were sound and usable.

Last week they communicated with all directorates offering the buildings to line departments, to which they have to respond by April 23.

The botanical report restricts the use of certain land pockets.

Mr Wentzel said baseline studies were advanced up to a point where proposals could be made once further input from key stakeholders were obtained.

“Line departments would need to indicate interest in the project and public input.

“The contractual date to complete the framework is June 18,” read the presentation.

SRRA chairman, Mario Oostendurp, said the City has yet to produce evidence to validate the data, which forms the basis of the SIHD framework.

He said that no information or updates were shared with residents since the initial presentation in 2019.

“We will be requesting Mr Wentzel to provide us with the source of and date conducted, of the data used as the basis of the framework,” he said.

The SRRA will be having another virtual meeting tomorrow Thursday April 8, to engage with residents as to how to address this matter.

Resident Shaheed Gabier asked the origins of the report dealing with the income analysis.

“I find it hard to believe that there is such a high proportion of the population in Strandfontein that has an income of R3 500 or less, which determines the need for BNG,” he said.

Mr Gabier said rates on average in the area are at R800 a month and that rent is more than R5 000 a month.

According to the City’s draft socio-economic and demographic analysis and housing need assessment, in Bayview sub-place, approximately 18% of households are in the BNG and CRU (Community Residential Units) income category (from zero income to R3 500 a month), 16% in the social and institutional income category, 24% in the FLISP income category (R7 501 – R15 000), 13% in the two bonded income categories and the rest (16%) in the highest income category (R15 000 – R20 000 and R20 001 – R25 000); Wavecrest is the only sub-place for which the percentage households in the top income category is the highest (28%); and in Strandfontein sub-place, the percentage of households with in the lowest income category is the highest (75%),” read the presentation.

Old Strandfontein resident Hugh Jacobs said they would not allow the City to make Strandfontein a dumping ground for low-cost housing.