Housing project a step closer

A housing development is planned for Pooke se Bos informal settlement in Rylands.

The 135 families living at Pooke se Bos informal settlement will finally have a home of their own, after the City of Cape Town bought a portion of the land from the owner for development.

Project manager Neil Williams gave an update on the housing development at the Sub-council 11 meeting on Wednesday May 22.

He said the City allocated R600 000 of the budget this year, towards the housing development.

It is hoped that by the end of June, the housing plans for the 135 homes will be finalised, Mr Williams said.

He also announced that they have started discussions with the beneficiaries about the City’s housing waiting list.

Ward 46 councillor, Aslam Cassiem, said the development is welcomed, adding that the community did not understand or realise all the processes involved in getting a housing development under way.

“The neighbours of Pooke se Bos have expressed concerns over the influx of people into the area, as they think once the houses are built, people will put up backyard dwellings, and that the current residents’ grandchildren, for example, might move in with them. There has been a lot of discussions with the Project Steering Committee and the civic organisations of the neighbouring areas,” Mr Cassiem said.

Sub-council 11 chairperson and ward 47 councillor, Antonio van der Rheede, said: “Some people think that if they move there now they can jump the housing waiting list queue, without having an historic footprint in the area, but the City must deal with this.”

He also expressed concern that funding for low-cost housing did not include fencing around each property, and that this might be a negative for the houses surrounding it.

“Residents need to build walls that would phase in with the multi-million rand properties around it. It would be grossly unfair to have rusted, corrugated iron fences. I also hope trees will be planted because it will give character to the place and the ratepayers will be happy about this,” Mr Van Der Rheede said.

When Mr Cassiem asked whether the City of Cape Town would consider purchasing an additional, adjacent piece of land to be used as a recreational space, Ward 44 councillor, Anthony Moses, said recreational space is a Constitutional right.

Mr Moses said : “It shouldn’t be that Sub-council 11 must ask for recreational space, because it is part of City policy. It needs to be put in place, and nobody should beg for it.”