Flyaway Herron's talking rubbish‚ says Cape Town deputy mayor
Cape Town's deputy mayor has rejected a torrent of criticism directed at the city council's DA administration by a departing ally of ex-mayor Patricia de Lille.
Resigning from the council and the DA on Thursday‚ mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said a “white cabal” in the DA had blocked the sale of Salt River Market for affordable housing.
“I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch the party lie to the public about this‚ nor can I continue to meet with communities and promise to deliver housing when it is clear that many in the party – enough to stop projects – are opposed to the provision of well-located affordable housing‚” said an emotional Herron‚ who later issued a 3‚000-word statement about his grievances with the DA.
But deputy mayor Ian Neilson said Herron - one of eight DA councillors who have followed De Lille out of the council and the DA - had "severely misrepresented" what had happened when the council debated a proposal to sell the land to Communicare at a heavily discounted price.
"Given the uniqueness of this project and the importance that this administration places on good governance‚ it was recommended that the item be referred back for further technical clarification‚" said Neilson.
"Councillors cannot be forced to approve projects through gratuitous statements that question their motives until they are satisfied that the proposal is fair‚ equitable and in the interests of the public. Our country is awash with poorly conceived projects that were approved through broad claims that seek to silence due diligence.
"Immediately after the council meeting our city officials engaged with Communicare and we are working together to unpack and clarify the various aspects raised.
"Contrary to the sentiments expressed by ... Herron‚ as an administration we are also fully in support of well-located affordable housing‚ which forms part of our Integrated Development Plan."
The City of Cape Town wants to sell 1.4ha next to Salt River Circle so Communicare can provide 850 new homes. Around 300 of the flats in the R715-million development would be “social housing” rented to households earning between R1‚500 and R15‚000 per month.
The snag with the Salt River Market project is the latest to hit developments driven by De Lille and Herron.
The Foreshore Freeway project was halted by city manager Lungelo Mbandazayo in July after the successful bidder had been named‚ and a plan for houses‚ shops‚ a hotel and a car park at Maiden's Cove collapsed when the council decided not to fight a court application to halt it.