A step closer to integrated housing developments

15 August 2019


Cape Town moved a step closer to integrated housing development this week when the City approved the rezoning application at the Salt River Market site.

The approval of the rezoning paves the way for a ground-breaking mixed-use development at the Salt River Market site. The built form of the landmark Salt River hall will be preserved, acknowledging the history of the site. The surrounding area will, however, be transformed into a safer vibrant public space, providing improved access to the Salt River station. The new development will integrate social housing with gap housing, recreational areas and economic activity in the form of retail stores and informal trading.

The City’s approval of the rezoning comes six years after Communicare responded to the City’s bid to develop the Salt River Market site. We’ve invested 6 years of work in the project because we believe in the vision of a mixed use development which the City articulated for the site in 2013.

The brief the City gave Communicare then and the development we subsequently proposed, supports the Cape Town Municipal Spatial Development Framework by intensifying residential density and development inside the existing built footprint of the City. This approach allows the local authority to utilise the existing infrastructure in Salt River, reducing pressure on their spending.
The proposed development is also well aligned with the City’s Table Bay District Plan which earmarks the Salt River Market and surrounding area for mixed use development and which has densification along public transport routes, spatial restructuring, integration and mixed use development as some of its principles.

All the work is now bearing fruit and set to benefit the residents of Cape Town who deserve decent and affordable housing that is close to public transport and work opportunities.

“It is a small step towards addressing the huge backlog of affordable housing for residents of Cape Town. In our city households with steady incomes, even up to R28 000 per month struggle to buy houses and therefore need to rent. The proposed development will make a difference for everyone,” said Anthea Houston, CEO of Communicare.
Communicare proposed the following mix of housing units:

Type of unit % of development Household income needed to qualify for a rental
Social Housing market 30% R1 500 – R15 000
Gap Housing market 14% Up to R22 000
Affordable Housing Market 56% Income starting at R22 500

By going up several storeys, more residential apartments can be built. Building more than four storeys is more expensive though, because there are higher engineering standards to make sure the building is safe. This is why social housing is usually excluded from high-rise developments. With the City’s policy of selling land at 10% of market value to its social housing partners, we have been able to cross-subsidise the development and to include 216 social housing units despite the higher unit cost.

“This is a good start and we hope to see the City release more land for integrated mixed use developments that include social housing. We still have a long way to go as the City council has to finalise a number of processes before the site is handed over to Communicare.”
“I am very excited about this project as it sets a precedent on mixed use developments that integrates marginal communities into the mainstream of our society. It is the first of its kind in the country. The model, and what we learn from it, not only benefits Cape Town but all of South Africa,” said Anthea Houston, CEO of Communicare.- End

Note to editor

  1. A “fly through” of the early iterations of the design concept, artist impressions of the building and a fact sheet on the proposed development can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b54i9idnit0bnkf/AAADo80c9GKDAdmGACIbHoGTa?dl=0
  2. A fact sheet on the Salt River Housing Development can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b54i9idnit0bnkf/AAADo80c9GKDAdmGACIbHoGTa?dl=0&preview=Salt+River+Fact+Sheet+-+Communicare+(5+December+2018).docx

For more information contact Michelle Matthee
Stakeholder Relations Manager at Communicare
072 282 9956 or 021 421 6008

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