On 13 November 2012, SAHA requested information from the City of Cape Town about how the municipality is addressing the housing crisis. In response, the City released several documents useful for advocates who are pressing for better transparency, accountability, and good governance in the housing sector.
SAHA requested the following:
Records, reports, policies, procedures, directives, or other documents from 2007 to 2012 related to the following information about the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP):
1. Plans to build RDP housing
2. Budget for RDP housing
3. Allocation and standards of RDP housing
4. Tenders and contracts for RDP housing
The documents released by the City answer several questions that are relevant to anti-poverty advocacy campaigns that include housing as a core issue:
What housing opportunities has the City of Cape Town delivered?
The City provided a detailed 7-page list that describes its progress in delivering housing projects up to 30 June 2011. The list includes; current projects, on-site and planned projects, and anticipated projects. It is divided by project name, number of units, comments, sub council, ward, units completed, and units handed over to beneficiaries.
How much money does the City of Cape Town receive in Human Settlement Development Grant Allocations?
The City provided an email giving the figures for Human Settlement Development Grant Allocations from the years 2006/2007 - 2011/2012.
What are the City of Cape Town's future plans regarding housing? What problems does the City think need to be solved? How is the City going to approach these problems?
The City provided a document entitled "Integrated Human Settlements: Five-Year Strategic Plan, 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2017." This document outlines the City's plans for managing housing between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2017. It includes information on the City's response to urbanization, poverty, environmental issues and financing. It also describes specific projects and delivery targets.
How does the City of Cape Town select tenants for its housing?
The City provided its policies and procedures for selecting tenants for existing housing stock and selecting beneficiaries for new housing developments.
What laws does the City of Cape Town need to follow when it deals with housing issues?
The City provided a copy of "The National Housing Code: Technical and General Guidelines." This document gives explanations and guidance about South Africa's laws related to national housing programs. Among other information, it contains the criteria that someone needs to fulfill before they are eligible for a housing subsidy, as well as the construction norms and standards for homes financed through national housing programmes.
You can view these documents and others released in response to Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests through the Freedom of Information Programme Collection on SAHA's website.