CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town (CoCT) put the ball in the national government’s court in order to transfer 58 units of free-standing houses and flats in District Six to beneficiaries names, however, it might not delay beneficiaries from moving back in.
Permission of Use certificates has been issued by the City since October 2021 to previously removed District Six residents under South Africa’s former apartheid era to return to their land.
However, Occupancy Certificates will only be issued when the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development rectifies safety issues that are not in adherence to the National Building Regulations (NBR), CoCT says.
The City reveals the national government has 12 months to do so from the date the Permission of Use certificates were issued.
“I went on a site visit to the District Six development where I met with the building inspector to see for myself the developer’s inconsistencies when compared with the actual site plan,” the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Eddie Andrews said.
“Small children or babies may fall under the balcony railing. Also, there are inconsistencies with the steps. This is very important because when there is a fire and the building must be evacuated the tenants must be able to do so safely, and without misjudging a step. This is to prevent someone from falling and hurting themselves, and causing a hazard for others evacuating the building,” Andrews explained.
Andrews urged the national government, who is the leading partner in the District Six development, to address balcony and staircase safety issues because people from District Six “have been waiting too long already for the houses that the national government has built”.
Without an Occupancy Certificate, the 58 units of free-standing houses and flats will not be transferred to the beneficiary’s name.
However, if Occupancy Certificates are not issued, it might not delay beneficiaries from moving back into District Six.
“It is for the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to decide whether they will allow the beneficiaries of these units to move in, or, to wait until the safety concerns have been addressed,” the City says.