Housing - What's the plan?
Statistics from the IDP show that from 1996 to 2004, a total of 4,560 housing units were provided in the Overstrand. Since 2005, only two projects were approved by the Provincial Authorities, namely Kleinmond (410 units out of 611 are currently complete) and Stanford (88 units out of 389 completed).
Despite these two projects, there is still an estimated backlog of approximately 7,619 names on the housing waiting list, an estimated 4,900 back-yard dwellers and an undisclosed number of squatters.
One of the reasons given by the Municipality for this state of affairs is ‘the departure of the Overstrand Municipal Housing Manager.’
Contacted for comment, the previous Municipal Housing Manager, Mr Bobby von During stated, ‘the reason why little to no planning was possible in the period 2007 to date, was as a result of a protracted court case concerning a ±R600 million tender to determine who the Overstrand’s “Turnkey Developer” was to be.’ ‘After both High and Appeal court cases, the Municipality was ordered to reverse their decision and award the tender to M5 as was originally determined in the tender process.’
Also stated in the IDP, is land targeted for immediate development in the Overstrand. In Hermanus, this land is understood to be a tract of land on Swartdam Road in Zwelihle, where 341 housing units are planned. Of these units, 199 will be GAP houses and 142 units will have Institutional Subsidies. However, there seems to be little clarity on this development.
The Whale Coast Monitor contacted the Municipality to endeavor to clarify some of the questions raised by our readers.
These questions included:
- Is there a housing list and how can people get onto the list for the planned housing development in Swartdam Road?
- Is there a Legal Social Compact in accordance with the Housing Code in place?
- Has an application for the development in Swartdam Road been lodged with the Province by the Municipality?
- How many houses are planned for construction?
- Has central government allocated funds to this Municipality for housing development in the current financial year? If yes, what is this quantum for the next three years?
- Other than the Swartdam Road development, is there any other new housing development being planned?
At the time of going to print the Municipality had not responded to our questions.
The Monitor will publish the Municipality’s response as soon as is possible.