Advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi has hailed a notice from Mayor Patricia de Lille indicating that she was considering including affordable housing at the Zero2One skyscraper to be built at the corner of Adderley and Strand streets.
De Lille will make her final decision after considering representations from interested and affected parties, said Ndifuna Ukwazi researcher Julian Sendin.
The developers, FWJK, submitted an application last year to build the tallest skyscraper in Cape Town, which was also a request to build a higher building than the zoning scheme allows.
The City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal approved the development in December with an affordable housing condition, supported by De Lille.
This stipulated that 20% of the additional floor space must be reserved for affordable housing for households earning below R15000 per month who are registered on the City’s housing database.
In the first eight years, they can only resell to others earning at a similar level on the housing database.
Sendin said the challenges facing the development were that the apartments would be small in size, and suitable for single people or couples; but owners may struggle to pay expensive levies that wealthier neighbours can afford.
“Nevertheless, this is a landmark decision,” he said.
“The City has recognised its obligations to advance spatial justice and equitable access to land and housing through land-use decisions.
“It affirms that developments on private land must also advance spatial justice and that we can no longer tolerate exclusionary development and racial enclaves, while our City remains poor, unequal, homeless and segregated.
“More importantly, it widens the toolkit of lawful mechanisms that the state can use to advance land reform and redistribution.”
He said no new affordable housing has been built in the inner city, and surrounds, since the end of apartheid.
“For the first time, poor and working-class people will be able to buy a home close to where they work, enjoy the views and benefit from the better services and opportunities that normally only wealthier families can access.”
De Lille said in her capacity as the planning appeal authority, she had received an appeal against the decision of the Municipal Planning Tribunal.
“One of the grounds of appeal is concerned with a condition imposed by the Tribunal that affordable housing be included in the development, which the appellants are seeking to clarify. I am considering the appeals and have asked the interested parties to comment,” said De Lille.