PHOTO ESSAY | CAPE TOWN 

Dunoon residents capitalise on thriving rental market

Residents in the overcrowded settlement are building apartments and adding storeys

Photo of a block of flats
A four story rental apartment in the heart of Dunoon built by a local family.
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Earlier this year, GroundUp reported on the housing “boom” in Dunoon. A thriving rental market has developed with RDP houses being converted, extended or extra storeys added. In some cases new blocks are being built on RDP plots.

As you enter Dunoon, developments can be seen on almost every street.

Photo of a buidling
A block of rental flats surrounded by informal shacks in Dunoon.
Containers have been used on this site to establish a crèche on the ground floor and a small Christian chapel for Sunday services on top of it. During the week, choir practice is held.
A mosque with its minaret visible has been built above the premises of a dental surgery. Two men who collect recyclable materials can be seen passing by.
This family has created a second storey to gain a rental income. The conversion was simple and innovative.
A block with a mix of commercial and residential tenants.
These homeowners have established a night club, the Upstairs Lounge, which operates on weekends only.

Letters

Dear Editor

Vrygrond Avenue in Vrygrond / Capricorn (opposite Marina da Gama in the Southern Suburbs) has seem a similar rental "boom" lately. If you drive down Vrygrond Avenue you see four structures going up similar to the one picture in the main photo of your article. There appears to be a standard "plan" being followed. Of course for years people have rented out space for shacks, but the development of formal multi-tenant "mini-flats" is a new thing.

One of the earliest developments has been 775 Philemon Road (go look at this using Google Maps / Street View here: https://goo.gl/maps/8sGPfWefQG52) where (after evicting earlier tenants) a development around a small (tiny) courtyard was built with about 8 or 10 individual one-room units.

Of course driving this are not just township "entrepreneurs" but above all the shortage of affordable housing in Cape Town and the brutal cost of rents in the "suburban" areas of the Southern Suburbs, which have expanded to occupy most land around Vrygrond itself.

Still, as this housing market grows, it will, like all other markets, come with abuses. Protection for tenants is an urgent issue.

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