Urban Poor in Cape Town The lack of affordable housing projects in cape town

  • Spatial Apartheid Planning
  • System of Townships
  • Privatization and Commodification of Service Delivery
  • Housing as a Commodity
  • Affordable Housing projects, a viable solution
  • Case of Study: Tafelberg Social Housing Project
The Architecture of Apartheid

Racial Urban Segregation in the 20th century

Legenda: A=African Settlements C=Colored Population relocated first

The history of South Africa is heavily characterized by the dramatic presence of colonialism first and apartheid after. These two macro periods inevitably shaped the structures of cities, producing urban spaces that are racially and economically segregated.

Despite the shift from racial dictatorship to democracy, today South African cities still experience drastic racial exclusion and deep social inequality.


Forced Removals in District Six (in the city centre of Cape Town)


Protests against forced removals in Woodstock (southern west neighborhood)

One of the most urban urgent issue in the city of Cape Town is probably the massive presence of informal setting in the suburbs.

In addition, the problem lies in the fact that urban poor people have been gone through a continuous process of evictions from the central neighbors of the city to the marginalized slums, the so-called townships.

The privatization and commodification of service delivery is a process that is not new to South African Urban Governance.

After the freedom from the apartheid regime (1994), the country experienced a great shift to neoliberal practices and this had relevant consequences in the system of housing for example. Neoliberal trends and pressures from the global market resulted in a dramatic increase of the price of rentals

What are the feasible solutions for urban poor?

Social Housing is the answer!

Social Housing is well-managed, clean, crime-free and safe rental accommodation for working class people. It will not depreciate property values in the surrounding area.

Case of Study: Tafelberg Project.

Area where Tafelberg would take place
Source: Reclaim the City, https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimCT/?fref=ts

The feasibility study released by the Western Cape Government proposes 270 homes. Some will be studios, some will have one bedrooms and some will have two bedrooms.

On the 22nd of March, the Province decided in court to sell the property, despite the protests from a variety of activists. Reclaim The City, as well as other organizations, will not stop fighting over a more justice resolution and a more serious commitment towards social housing in Cape Town.

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