Comment on the Best Use of State Property Assets: The Case of Tafelberg, Sea Point

Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

The challenge of managing and putting to best use state property assets has been put into sharp focus with the recent debate over the Tafelberg property in Sea Point, Cape Town. At issue is whether (and how) state land should be used to further objectives of social integration, so critical to the transformation of our society and our capacity to overcome our apartheid legacy of spatial segregation. The problem (and opportunity), in this case, is that the land is valuable – extremely so. How can this value be used towards the benefit of the province so that it can meet the breadth of its competing responsibilities?

In response to a call for submissions by the Western Cape Province, CAHF prepared the attached submission, which comments on the issue and makes three broad recommendations:

  • Government should develop clear guidelines on the use of state land for social and affordable housing, and how this might be sustainably achieved given the competing demands on land and the costs involved. Critically, in order for the private sector to participate, there must be clarity on the rules, and certainty in their implementation.
  • Government capacity to measure and engage creatively with the value of their land assets must be strengthened to support the breadth of “best use” objectives envisioned in the legislation.
  • In terms of Tafelberg in particular, the Province should explore the potential of realising its social housing objectives in partnership with the buyers of the land.
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