The provincial Transport and Public Works Department has submitted a rezoning application to the municipality for Cape Town’s Somerset Hospital precinct, incurring the opposition of civil organisation, Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU).
The application – which includes the currently contested Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home where dozens of people are living, in protest of the city’s relaxed policies thus far on affordable inner-city housing – has received many red flags by NU.
The issue lies in the fact that the Department has not afforded enough units, nor specified if they will be kept for social housing purposes.
Only 300 units have been made available and, according to NU, the specification that these won’t be marketed as cheaper commercial units has not been made sufficiently apparent.
The department’s plan involves closing the Somerset Hospital Precinct and turning it into a multi-purpose centre with shops, hotels, offices and residential units.
Yet, NU is bent on ensuring that a large majority of the residential portion will be given to people who currently work multiple jobs in the CBD whilst residing in peripheral areas outside of the city entirely.