CONTRIBUTOR Resurrection by development? (Showing the Groote Schuur cemetery). The City’s housing policies encourage the provision of adequate housing. Is this challenge being met? is home to the largest concentration of people considered to be a vulnerable group. It is also widely acknowledged that the provision of new housing opportunities for middle income earners is inadequate. While government interventions have been aimed at persons earning less than R15 000 a month, in general, the income group between R15 000 and R30 000 a month has come off second best. Into this gap, several projects have been launched, notably the MSEIZ in the Woodstock in the Observatory Main Road strip. Chairman of Rawson Developers, Bill Rawson and managing director, Carl Nortje are experienced in the provision of appropriate housing opportunities to help address these imbalances. Rawson says that the company has refined the concept of the secure, compact lifestyle apartment in areas close to the central business district (CBD) where, by all accounts, sales and rentals of new apartments have been brisk. “We encourage buyers to come on board at an early stage of the project. For example, at the Premier on the Main Road in Newlands, there have been returns of up to 25% a year on a two-bedroom apartment since project launch to handover. It is a particular favourite for buyers who have family at UCT.” Development in the urban development zone (UDZ) area of Observatory Main Road particularly excites Rawson. Here, potential exists for not only great ROI, but also sustainable income for the investor. “The UDZ is a system whereby tax relief is obtained on capital invested in income-earning property in a designated area. This means, as long as your dwelling is earning rent, you may claim a portion of your purchase price as a tax rebate annually over a set period, as long as you are earning income from 100% occupation,” he explains. ADVICE TO THE MARKET Nortje suggests that buyers ask several key questions prior to investing in the current market in Cape Town. With the benchmark being R/m 2 prices on offer against those in the CBD – they further look for value, check for easy access to 30 NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2017 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING and exit from the CBD, such as MyCiTi; interrogate the growth potential of the investment where certain developments have delivered returns way above the average; look for ease of access to academic institutions for student accommodation; seek out and insist on quality – durable good looking finishes as standard options – and state of the art passive and active electronic security. RAPID TRANSPORT According to Herron, an imminent roll-out of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service to Wynberg and Claremont is central to the MSEIZ. “This will greatly enhance the potential of living in Observatory, enjoying its vibrant lifestyle and commuting to the CBD,” says Rawson. Herron says that the City would like to see the private sector implement its vision. This means that the public and private sector must adapt the approach to spatial planning and urban development. “A more compact city with higher densities and more efficient/mixed land use,” he notes. Indeed, the Western Cape Provincial Government MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, points out that development is key to growth in the Western Cape. “We are home to four universities and engage in a wide range of skills development programmes aimed at supplying the labour market with a relevant and competent labour force. We have the target of introducing 32 500 qualified artisans into the workplace by 2019,” he says. With skills development and the provision of appropriate housing high on the list, it is not surprising to note that certain key suburbs to the south of Cape Town’s CBD have experienced an interesting evolution. “With development activity which aims not only to provide cost effective housing opportunities to the middle-class income group, but also lifestyle opportunities, it seems to be on the right track,” suggests Nortje. *Griffiths acknowledges the input received from the department of Economic Opportunities and the City of Cape Town.