A turnkey developer has been appointed for the exciting new housing project near Zeekoevlei, which will feature environmentally-friendly subsidy and bonded houses, as well as a retail centre and sites for future schools, a clinic and a community centre.
The first sod of the Pelican Park Phase 1 project was turned at a ceremony on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 that was attended by the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, and Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato.
The developer will now proceed with final detailed planning and designs. Construction is expected to start by September, after the winter rains.
The project, which will provide 2 000 subsidy houses and 1 300 bonded houses, will help reduce the City of Cape Town's housing waiting list, which is currently sitting at about 400 000 people. "Reducing this number is a daunting task for which there are no quick fixes - it requires a concerted and sustained effort from both the public and private sector. Through initiatives such as this project, we can start to aggressively address this challenge," Plato said.
The beneficiaries have been drawn off the consolidated database (housing waiting list), with 60% from the nearby area and 40% from outside the subcouncil. About 10 000 people who had been on the list the longest received letters requesting them to indicate if they were interested in applying, and 4000 responded. They will be screened to ensure their eligibility to receive a subsidy once the timelines are confirmed.
Pelican Park was acquired by the government in the 1980s for the development of housing, but two previous attempts to further develop Pelican Park housing estate failed due to a lack of funding.
A third Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process started in early 2007, with an environmental scoping exercise, public meeting, specialist reports, and various assessments of the impact of the development on the area. The EIA addressed concerns about the biodiversity and ecological systems in the area, and the need to conserve the Dune Strandveld system, of which very little remains intact in the Cape Peninsula. It also identified the need to protect the habitat of a rare butterfly and factored in future sea level rise and storm surges.
Following an extensive public participation exercise, a decision has been taken to split erf 829 in two and develop an 80 hectare portion of it now.
The split was a result of scientists not being able to agree on where the boundary between the development and the area to be conserved should be located.
Although erf 829 is 360 hectares in total, 200 hectares will be protected to conserve the natural environment and ecosystems. A service road will run on the development side of the boundary fence with houses facing onto the boundary, in order to increase surveillance and prevent residents discarding trash over the fence into the conservation area.
This area will be accessible to pedestrians via gates, which will be locked at night to prevent anti-social or illegal behaviour.
The project will also be sensitive to the environment, and all houses, including subsidy houses, will feature a 100-litre solar water heating system and grey water recycling.
Unlike other state-subsidised housing projects, every beneficiary of a house in Pelican Park will have a grassed front yard with boundary wall, solid hardwood front and back doors, concrete tiled roofs, and electrical reticulation in every room.
In order to address the lack of affordable housing to families who earn between R3 500 and R10 000 a month, some of the 1 300 bonded houses will be priced in the region of R280 000, so those who do not qualify for housing subsidies can afford them. Some rental units are also planned.
"The City of Cape Town has recently been awarded housing accreditation from National Government, a move that will see the City have more control over housing delivery in Cape Town. The City remains committed to making housing delivery quicker in the long run,” Plato said.