Parkwood Housing Project gets underway

06 August 2018

A team of engineers, planners and designers is to visit seven sites where social and affordable housing will be built for backyarders in Parkwood and surrounding areas.

This was announced by Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela at a joint meeting with residents and the City of Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon. This follows a meeting on 19 June, when government officials revealed that at least seven sites in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, including Parkwood, Lotus River and Retreat, had been identified for possible social and affordable housing.

However, a Fairways resident told GroundUp that “people who live on our side are worried that the construction of low-cost or affordable housing will have a negative impact on the property values of our houses”. Kim Abrahams said he was representing the ratepayers’ association. Abrahams questioned Madikizela on what government would do to prevent people moving into backyards in the new houses.

He suggested a community hall be built on an open field between Fairways and Parkwood instead of housing. “They are only building these houses to get the coloured vote again,” Abrahams said.

In response, Madikizela said government was mindful of the concerns raised around property values. Households earning up to R15,000 a month would be housed closest to the private houses and lower-income houses further away, Madikizela said.

Madikizela said, “It’s compulsory for people from the area to be employed. When it comes to the labour intensive process, subcontractors from the area will be chosen but we must also make sure those people know what they are doing. The fact that we have already employed the team of professionals means we have already started with the project.”

He said the decision to assist the Parkwood community “was not taken lightly.” After visiting some of the backyarders’ homes, he had seen “compelling” reasons to assist the group immediately. “We don’t respond like this to every person who resorts to the street. I saw for myself the shocking conditions. These people… have been on the housing waiting list for 20 or 30 years.”

After the meeting, Yumna Adams, a member of the Parkwood steering committee, said they were happy with progress. “We know these things take time. We are just praying this works out because our people really need these houses,” she said.

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue