A start to reversing the backlog in affordable housing delivery
Among the many socio-economic challenges faced by South Africa, the backlog in the provision of affordable housing for lower-income earners is particularly worrying. While estimates about the size of the backlog vary, it is likely that more than 2 million homes are needed nationally, half a million of which are within the Western Cape, and more than 300 000 in the City of Cape Town.
Government is challenged to meet the need for affordable housing delivery, which means that private property developers will increasingly need to step into the breach to deliver affordable housing projects.
One such developer, the Amdec Group, recently demonstrated its commitment towards helping to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in the province by announcing the development of a R500 million affordable housing estate in Ottery, Cape Town.
Golden Grove Estate will be developed on an 11-hectare site formerly known as Golden Grove Poultry Farm, situated on the corner of De Wet Road and Elm Street in Ottery. It will offer 1 000 affordable residential apartments – 1 bed units at 24 m2, 2 bed units at 36m2, and 3 bed units at 54m2 – on a rental basis. They are targeted at households with an employment history and a joint household income not exceeding R22,000 per month. The rental cost will not exceed 30% of the tenant’s household income.
Golden Grove Estate will include a convenience retail centre and onsite laundry; communal gardens and children’s playground; creche, day care and after-care / supervised homework facilities; an onsite furniture workshop so that residents can build and / or assemble their own flat-pack furniture onsite; 5-a-side soccer pitches and basketball courts, and a communal recreational clubhouse for all the residents.
“We are acutely aware of the need for affordable housing, so we are delighted that our recent planning application in respect of Golden Grove Estate was approved. We intend launching this scheme to market within the next month or two, and being in the ground before the end of the year,” said Amdec Group CEO James Wilson, at a sod-turning ceremony attended by the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato, on 17 September 2020.
“As the demand for housing in South African continues to grow, and our capacity to deliver housing is simply not able to meet that demand, I am pleased to see the private sector playing their part and developing attractive affordable housing sites that also include a wide variety of attractive recreational spaces. I look forward to seeing the first of the 1000 families move into their new homes in the near future,” said Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato.
The Amdec Group is not new to the affordable housing sector. In 2007, it acquired 13 vacant office buildings in Doornfontein in Johannesburg, and redeveloped them to create an innovative and ground-breaking mixed-use precinct that provided affordable homes for 1 500 young families (or approximately 6 000 people). The primary building, a 26-floor residential tower, was set above a street level retail podium anchored by Shoprite, with the twelve adjoining buildings upgraded to include a city school, book and toy library, all-weather basketball courts and five-a-side football pitches, and many additional communal facilities.
Wilson confirmed that the Amdec Group will utilise its considerable skill and expertise acquired over 31 years in business to deliver an affordable housing estate that truly provides for the needs of the community. “Golden Grove Estate is exceptionally well-located within an established suburb, surrounded by residential homes and close to shops, schools and sports facilities, and transport nodes, making it easy to access on foot or via public and private transport. Golden Grove will also deliver exceptional safety and security, convenience, amenity, and energy efficiency, significantly enhancing the lives of those who live there,” he said.
“As a proudly South African company, the Amdec Group is deeply committed to redressing the injustices of the past. To this end, we have established a fully-fledged Affordable Housing division which is going to be responsible for building, owning, operating, and managing our affordable housing stock in perpetuity to ensure that housing is made available to those who need it most. In addition, we are engaging with multiple industry experts in the fields of affordable, social, and subsistence housing with a view to providing the thought leadership necessary to develop innovative solutions to the national housing crisis”, said Wilson.
“We recognise that we cannot resolve all of our country’s economic inequalities, but we can work alongside local government and support their key strategic objectives, by introducing affordable housing developments and innovative self-build solutions to a market that is woefully under-supplied,” he concluded.
About the Amdec Group:
Founded in 1989, the Amdec Group is a privately-owned property development and investment business recognised as South Africa’s leading developer of New Urban lifestyles. Their prestigious portfolio includes the iconic Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, The Yacht Club and Harbour Arch in Cape Town, Westbrook in Port Elizabeth, Val de Vie and Pearl Valley in the Cape Winelands, Sitari Country Estate outside Somerset West in Cape Town, and 7 Evergreen Lifestyle Retirement villages across Gauteng and the Western Cape. The Amdec Group’s international operations are spread across the US states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, as well as in London and Norwich in the United Kingdom.