Human settlements department sheds light on ‘Happy Valley’ erf plans

Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela says that The City of Cape Town will have to follow consultative procedure before taking any final decision on the plans to develop Erf 1117, known as ‘Happy Valley’ in Blouberg.

Concerns surfaced about the plans for the land, following speculations of RDP development plans by residents, based from a 2013 housing development presentation that was released made by the City to the department.

The development of land along the R27 on the West Coast has reportedly caused anger to Table View residents and informal dwellers that occupy the site.

Happy Valley informal dwellers. Image credit: Ross Jansen, Cape Argus.

The City of Cape Town will take the necessary steps

Madikizela says that the City had put forward a proposal for the land they acquired from national government. This proposal is the document that was released, causing conjectures.

All the municipalities have to submit a business plan to the province to lay out their business plans – which The City of Cape Town has not submitted. The document was merely a motivation to acquire the land.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements

He says that the City motivated that the land could 13 500 housing opportunities, however, this does not mean that the intention is to build that number of houses.

We have a challenge when it comes to land shortage and have approached national government with the pieces of land which we have identified, including erf 177. We are facing a problem with a backlog and have more than 300 000 families on our waiting list.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements

According to Madikizela, the department has been in consultation with community to determine what is most suitable for the area.

Happy Valley community. Image credit: Ross Jansen, Cape Argus.

Misconceptions about the Human Settlements department

Madikizela says that there is a general misconception about the work of the department which may contribute to the public’s misinformation about its plans and procedures.

People tend to think that the Department of Human Settlements is a department for free houses. We deal with the entire chain of housing delivery in the province, from ‘RDP houses’, ‘Gap’ and upmarket houses.’ We work very closely with the banks in holding them accountable for to their lending patterns in terms of Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure (Hlamda) Act.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements

Listen to the full conversation, where the MEC took calls and questions from our CapeTalk listeners, with Kieno Kammies:

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