Discussions on land transfer process ongoing

Brett Herron. Picture: Jason Boud/African News Agency (ANA)

The transfer of SANParks land to the City of Cape Town was discussed at a meeting in Pretoria last month.

The land issue has been a point of contention in Hout Bay.

On March 15, in a meeting between City officials and a concerned residents group from Hangberg, mayor Patricia de Lille guaranteed she would personally oversee the transfer process for the purposes of development in Hangberg (“Proposals made to Hangberg residents group,” Sentinel, March 16).

The roll-out of the Hangberg Informal Development Area (HiDA) project has been repeatedly stalled due to questions over proprietorship of land, either by the City or national government.

“The land transfer process is ongoing,” said Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development.

“The request for, and the process to, transfer land between the City of Cape Town and SANParks, specifically to facilitate developments such as the HiDA project in Hangberg, were discussed at a full-day session between the City and not only SANParks, but also the departments of environmental affairs, public works and human settlements in Pretoria on March 20,” he said. “The request for transfers is linked to and triggers the de-proclamation of parts of the Table Mountain National Park as well the Table Mountain World Heritage site. Each of these designations has its own process for de-proclamation.

The City is still actively pursuing the process to effect the transfer of land to the City to facilitate the needed housing development and will be attending the follow-up meeting with these departments towards the end of April or early May. ” Mr Herron trusted that the committee would be able to proceed to the extent that “we can confirm time-frames for the process for de-proclamation and land transfer after this engagement”.

The concerned residents’ group is scheduled to meet with stakeholders from the City, Hangberg Peace and Mediation Forum (PMF) and representatives from the provincial government and SANParks on Monday April 16.

The respective parties are due to be briefed on grievances presented to the City over land, housing, service delivery and the way forward for the PMF.

Residents group representative, Lee Smith, said the group was aware the City had held discussions over land transfers last month.

“Our concern is that the City always tells us that processes are ‘ongoing’, as if this is supposed to satisfy the needs of the community. But we are tired of this.

“At some point, they are going to have to say the matter is going to be resolved,” he said. “The concerned residents’ group has been acting as a go-between between the City and community, and has been acting in good faith. But we can’t make decisions for people who continue to live in inhumane conditions. We are going to the meeting on the 16th and we want it to be
decisive, so we can present something concrete to the community.”