Nearly 1,800 low-income families could benefit from Conradie Hospital housing project
Western Cape government confirms development will proceed
The Western Cape Provincial Executive has confirmed a decision to dispose of the old Conradie hospital site to Concor Construction and proceed with the R3-billion development, announced Premier Helen Zille on Wednesday.
The project, called the Conradie Better Living Model, is a public-private partnership. The development will include subsidised housing units, as well as affordable housing units located close to the Cape Town CBD for families who earn between R1,500 and R22,000 per month.
Construction will include 3,602 residential units of which 1,764 will be grant-funded, affordable units.
There have been objections to the size of the development by people living in the area.
Processes with the City of Cape Town, including the allocation of funding by the Urban Settlement Development Grants (USDG), need to take place before construction can begin. These processes are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“At this stage we are hoping to hand over the site to the developer early in January , but that is subject to the processes that the City concludes. … Once the property is handed over to the developer there is a design phase that starts off, and that design phase is for all the bulk infrastructure that will eventually be constructed,” said Mark Munro, the project manager of the Conradie Better Living project. “That will take the better part of nine months, so physical construction would ideally only start toward the end of 2019.”
Donald Grant, Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC, said a signed agreement was made with PRASA to upgrade the Thornton and Old Mutual train stations.
Zille said, “Previously the government would focus on housing for people who are completely indigent. Now they are moving up the range to make housing more affordable as well for people who can afford to pay something, but not everything. And that is the category we are looking at in this particular development.”
Munro said that the Social Housing Act stipulates that no less than 30% of the social housing income band should be allocated to the lower portion of that band.
“The lower portion of that band … is between R1,500 and R5,500 per month. So essentially 30% of the total allocation [of units] must be allocated to that income bracket,” said Munro.
Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Mandikizela explained that those who qualify for social housing will be considered on a “first come first serve” basis if they are situated within a 7km radius of the development.
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A well planned Conradie project would be of great benefit to the community. However this is not such a proposal. For starters, the "artist rendition" being used by the city to promote the project (the one repeatedly published by GroundUp) depicts 4-storey buildings. The actual proposal calls for 8-storey buildings and as such is utterly disingenuous.
In all actuality, adding some 3,600 families will overwhelm the already inadequate existing infrastructure in the area (Example: during morning rush hour it already takes 30-45 minutes to drive from Thornton to Pinelands -- about 2 or 3 km). We cannot solve the city's housing crisis in one grand, "Chicago-style Housing Project" solution.
My Husband and I live with our three children. We have been renting a house in Bridgetown for over 10 years now. We relocated from the west coast (Atlantis) because of the housing issue (no affordable property to rent or buy)
I have not been on the City of Cape Town's Housing List for long, maybe 2-3 years. My concern is they are mentioning preference will be given to those staying a distance of 7 km radius from Pinelands and the first come first serve basis. Does that mean even if we can afford to buy or rent one of these properties I will not even be considered.