City mum on developer's plan to buy RDP homes

The City of Cape Town's housing directorate has failed to respond to questions about the proposal by a developer who is enticing Westlake Village residents to sell their RDP houses.

Outraged members of the Westlake Village community contacted the Cape Times to complain that property developer John Viveiros had approached them with a proposal that they sell their houses to him for between R45 000 and R50 000. The community believes he is trying to get them off the land because of its value.

People squatting in the area were given formal houses on a section of the land when the area was developed.

Viveiros has, however, defended his plan, saying the community would be financially empowered by selling their houses. He said it was merely a proposal and residents didn't have to sell.

The city was sent questions last week, but has failed to respond.

Leon van Rensburg, DA councillor for the area, said he wasn't in favour of the idea, although it was ultimately up to the homeowner to sell.

"I'm not in support of this idea. But you can't prevent people from selling. After they sell those houses, it's not clear where the people are going to go," said Van Rensburg.

He said that he had been accused at last week's meeting of being in support of the plan.

Van Rensburg said the idea had been to create an integrated development comprising residential and business sections.

"The new South Africa is all about the integration of communities. Those houses have been a great investment for them. When they got them they were (worth) less that R10 000, now some are (worth) between R60 000 and R100 000. I don't think they should sell."

  • This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Times on July 27, 2005
Article by: Babalo Ndenze