Build low-cost housing instead of land sale — Cosatu

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Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu's Western Cape secretary,  said some land owned by City of Cape Town should be transferred to the Department of Human Settlements so that it could be used for low-cost housing development. Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu's Western Cape secretary, said some land owned by City of Cape Town should be transferred to the Department of Human Settlements so that it could be used for low-cost housing development.

Trade union federation Cosatu has demanded that the City of Cape Town release the findings of an audit of the land it owns and wants it used for low-cost housing instead of being sold to property developers.

The statement from Cosatu comes after Western Cape government said in March that it was considering selling off four of its prime properties, including parts of the Somerset Hospital precinct next to the V&A Waterfront.

Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu's Western Cape secretary, accused the DA-controlled council of using complaints about the disused and dilapidated army base in the up-market suburb of Tamboerskloof to pressurise the Department of Public Works into selling it.

Ehrenreich, who is also the provincial leader of the ANC , said the land should be transferred to the Department of Human Settlements so that it could be used for low-cost housing development.

Dave Bryant, Tamboer-skloof's DA ward councillor, said the land on which the army base was situated was worth a "considerable amount".

But his primary concern was that the property had been allowed to fall into disrepair and the former base had become a "magnet for crime".

Ehrenreich said: "The city has done a land audit that [it is] not releasing as there would be public demand that the pockets of land in wealthier areas be used for low-cost housing. Instead, the city has now started a process of selling off the pockets of land in the wealthier areas to wealthy developers for up-market housing."

Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson said the city had a three-year land release programme.

"As and when the city has determined which properties are surplus to the council's needs... we will release them to the market in a sustainable way," he said.

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Cape Town Property Market  |  Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu)  |  Tony Ehrenreich
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