Boarding houses to blame for poor conditions

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Thys Carstens, Summer Greens

After reading “Summer Greens squeeze must stop, says civic” (Tabletalk, December 8), all I can say is that the City just keeps on making excuses and does not want to carry any blame.

The boarding houses are being built all over, with no parking for tenants. Are they legal? They are without parking for tenants that use neighbours properties for parking and cause fights. They are also overcrowded. The City Council Inspectorate must take all the blame.

I and many homeowners are just waiting for the next election, as the City officials and the DA live in their ivory towers, and don’t care about us homeowners and ratepayers in this area.

The DA just look after their mainly white occupied areas with loving tender care around the clock, while us ratepayers’ properties are going down in value.

I for one wish that Herman Mashaba’s political party would run all over the slapgat DA City of Cape Town come next election, as the DA has now got too big for their boots.

  • Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews responds:

The Development Management Scheme allows for the development of a second and third dwelling (subject to conditions) on a Single Residential 1 property.

In addition the owner may also build a domestic quarter if needed. The rules apply consistently to properties across the city.

While the development of such dwellings may be viewed by some to be excessive in areas where incremental densification is in high demand, they are not always illegal. Suspected illegal boarding houses and illegal buildings should be reported to the City for investigation. Once contraventions are confirmed, legal steps are followed to obtain compliance.

Boarding houses are defined as follows: a building where lodging is provided, and may incorporate cooking, dining and communal facilities for the use of lodgers, together with outbuildings as are normally used therewith; and includes a building in which rooms are rented for residential purposes, youth hostel, backpackers’ lodge, guest house, home for the aged, handicapped or orphaned and residential club; but does not include a hotel, dwelling house, second dwelling, third dwelling or group house.

The questions that need to be answered regarding whether a place is considered a boarding house are as follows:

1. Are the units occupied by single households or domestic employees in cases of domestic quarters?

2. Are individual rooms rented out for residential purposes?

It is acknowledged that obtaining the necessary proof in that regard can be challenging for some reported cases, leading to lengthier investigations, however, these cases are still subjected to the relevant legal processes to obtain compliance.