The Western Cape provincial government has developed a new draft housing policy aimed at addressing the province’s ‘legacy of apartheid spatial planning’ and housing opportunity.
The draft policy, which the Western Cape said is the first of its kind in South Africa, is based on multiple international case studies and will facilitate affordable housing in high-value locations.
“Not only would this allow middle-to-low income households to live in well-situated areas and thus provide them access to better opportunities, but also ensuring long-term social and economic sustainability for our settlements,” said Andricus van der Westhuizen, the DA’s provincial spokesperson on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Developmental Planning.
“By establishing a framework, it will incentivise private developers to include affordable or social housing options in their respective market-driven developments.
“These opportunities, whether for purchase or hire, would have to be at a cheaper price or rate than the other units available in that specific development.”
The department said that the policy will also allow cities or municipalities with developing property markets to form ‘inclusionary housing overlay zones’ in which affordable housing options can be encouraged or further developed on pre-existing properties.
Over the years, due to the lack of critical policy framework, the gap between subsidised housing or public rental stocks and opportunities from the private sector has grown immensely, van der Westhuizen said.
“Due to 46% of South Africa’s housing market earning between R10,000 and R26,000 per month, many households earning in the upper-income bracket do not qualify for public programmes that provide assistance.
“As the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape, we will be monitoring how many Western Cape municipalities will be adopting inclusionary housing policies once the framework has been adopted.
“It is essential that once this policy is active that we allow for many struggling households to benefit.”