Still a growing need for housing

KAYLYNN PALM

Over the past 40 years, the population of Mitchell’s Plain has increased exponentially, and so too has the demand for housing.

Community activist and sector head for housing for Seskona People’s Rights Movement, Sulyman Stellenboom has been up in arms about housing issues in Mitchell’s Plain for many years. He said now more than ever housing is a “critical issue”, saying that local government needs to make provision for people who are desperate for housing, especially those who have been on the waiting list for more than 10 years.

“If we look back, 40 years ago there wasn’t a huge demand for housing. Back then when houses were built it was stable and spacious. Now, people wait longer to receive their house, and when they do (receive them), they are extremely small, two bedrooms if you are lucky.

“Most of the RDP houses in Tafelsig are falling apart because of poor workmanship. Secondly, these homes are overcrowded because they give a one or two bedroom place for a family of five to seven,” he said.

According to the City of Cape Town, there has been various housing developments in sub-councils 12 and 23, which cover Mitchell’s Plain. Among these developments are bonded, institutional and Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing schemes.

In Sub-council 12 the housing developments include Eastville Heights, The Westridge and Hyde Park, Mitchell’s Village and Freedom Park in Tafelsig.

Tafelsig ward councillor Sheval Arendse said the three developments in his area have been built over the past 15 years. There is still, however, a huge demand for housing in Tafelsig as the population increases, he said, adding that there were many backyard dwellers and squatters in his ward.

“There is a great need for housing in Mitchell’s Plain, specifically in Tafelsig.

“There are so many people on the housing database as the area has grown over the past few years. People come from all over, but unfortunately there isn’t always enough funding from national government for more housing,” he said.

Sub-council 12 chairman Eddie Andrews said there are a few housing projects planned and that discussions about further development in the area are under way.

“Once all details have been finalised, those on the waiting list will be informed. I would also like to appeal to those on the waiting list to please accept the offering even though it may not be in their preferred area. This would be most helpful to ensure the waiting list is reduced.

“Potential beneficiaries should also regularly contact the housing office to verify the details and if necessary update contact details,” he said.

Sub-council 23’s housing developments include Harmony Village, Westcape Villas, Morgens Village which includes Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3, Rosewood Villas, Wildwood, Vanguard Villas, Woodridge, Colorado Park, Rondevlei Park and Watergate, and sub-council chair Natalie Bent confirmed that the area on the corner of Eisleben Road and Highlands Drive has been earmarked for housing development.