Gimme Shelter: The Hout Bay Land List
The hot-button issue of land rights has taken a step forward. Interestingly, some of the land marked for consideration is not in the immediate vicinity of Hout Bay, no doubt pleasing the NIMBY* element of the population. However, the affluent residents of Llandudno, whose roads are choked with traffic queues from beach-loving Capetonians, may not be pleased at the prospect of a sustainable-housing development in their backyard.
Mayor Helen Zille will be presented with a landmark proposal tomorrow that lists 12 key pockets of land that could be earmarked for Hout Bay residents living in overcrowded settlements.
The proposed list, revealed to the Cape Argus, includes prime tracts of land in Orange Kloof, Oudekraal, Apostle Battery above Llandudno and Constantia.
The proposal is based on a land audit that has been drawn up by a committee tasked with addressing the long-standing land row in Hout Bay which pitted well-off residents against poor settlement dwellers.
The committee comprises representatives from the Hout Bay Rate-payers Association, Cosatu, the Sinethemba Civic Association, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco).
The proposal only identified vacant land, but does not indicate whether this land is available or to whom it belongs.
Committee organisers have said that the list is not a demand, but a proposal of options, and the city will be asked to consider the feasibility of development on the areas selected.
Most of the land under consideration is government-owned, but there are pockets of private land and a section that falls under the Table Mountain National Park.
The committee is set to tell the city that public land should be considered as the first option for housing, but private land could, in principle, be considered thereafter.
Today Zille said she was waiting for the report "with interest" but could not comment.
* Not In My Back Yard: an aspect of the tragedy of the commons, in which members of a community may agree that a change needs to take place, but do not want their own property affected.