Backyarders call for social housing

Kuils River backyarders are calling for low cost houses to be built instead of the new block of flats planned for Bottelary Road.

While the public participation period closed on Monday August 19, residents say they were unaware that 250 flats were planned for the Haasendal Farm at 48 Bottelary Road, Kuils River and have called for the comment period to be extended.

IC @ Plan Town Planners submitted an application to the City of Cape Town to rezone the property from an agricultural zone 1 to a general residential zone 2 and transport zone 2.

According to the application the plot is just over 2.8 hectares and the current plan is for a three-storey block of 250 units aimed at medium income beneficiaries earning between R5 000 and
R7 000 a month.

The plan is to build 93 one-bedroom units, 115 two-bedroom units and 42 studios ranging between 35m2 and 60m2 in size.

Each apartment will have two parking bays, with a total of 361 bays and 39 garages being planned for.

Cars can enter and exit the complex from Kruis Street and the Bottelary Road and a new access from the Bottelary Road is proposed for the development – connecting to Haasendal Boulevard.

Roads affected by traffic will be Saxdowns Road, Bottelary and Kruis Road leading into Brackenfell south.

Resident, Johannes Pula said he did not know about the development and was unhappy that backyarders, like himself, would not be able to afford the flats.

“We have millions – if not billions of backyarders in areas such as Kalkfontein and Serepta. How were were not notified about the plans and why were our backyarders not considered for affordable housing,” he said.

Mr Pula said while private developers were benefiting from Kuils River farmland, backyarders and homeless people were suffering in their shacks or on the streets.

“Proper planning was not done,” he said.

Another resident, Chris Nissen, said the plight of backyarders went unrecognised.

“Although private developers make their money by creating beautiful flats and charging lots of money for them, they don’t realise that our backyarders already pay nearly R3 000 for a leaking shack or bungalow. Why can’t the City allow developers to create low cost housing?”

He said people had been living in backyards of other people’s properties for more than 40 years but never heard about developments which could accommodate them.

“A study must be done on how many people lose their lives in fires, the social ills that come with squatting and the bad conditions backyarders must live in. I am sure things will then change,” he said.

The City’s acting director for development management, Pieter Terblanche said the development was aimed at medium income groups but could not confirm how much the units would sell for.

He emphasised that a Traffic Impact Assessment and Notice of Intent to Develop had been completed and that “the application documentation includes all specialist studies in accordance with basic submission requirements”.

Detailed assessment and requirements of internal departments would follow, he said.

Mr Terblanche added that no late objections would be considered.

Heritage Western Cape did not respond to questions sent to them on Monday August 12.

Northern News also contacted IC @ Plan Town Planners on Tuesday August 13 with further questions about the development but by the time this edition went to print on Tuesday August 20, they had not yet responded.