The owners of Schulphoek in Hermanus have agreed to sell land, that was once destined for a luxury development, back to the government for homes for Zwelihle residents, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said on Thursday.
“The good thing is the [owners have] agreed to sell,” said Madikizela.
However, the deal was subject to a valuation process and price comparison.
He would not say how much the land owners wanted. Asked if it was R34m as rumoured, he responded that it was higher than that, but that a valuation would properly determine the price.
In the meantime, nobody is allowed to start building on, or settling on the land, because a complex procedure involving environmental impact studies, infrastructure provision and the confirmation of those who qualify to move on to the land is still to be done.
Co-owner Leslie Viljoen confirmed that he and the Rabie Property Group agreed to sell the 48ha that sweep down to the sea, originally bought from the municipality.
Viljoen is the chairperson of the Cavcor Group, which is a co-owner of the land with the Rabie Group.
“There is a dire need for accommodation for the Zwelihle people,” said Viljoen.
“We‘ve agreed to make that land available.”
He said this was on condition there were no “land invasions”.
It is understood that it was to have been developed for luxury homes, with many conditions attached, such as infrastructure provision.
Madikizela said that, at this point, expropriation of Schulphoek was not being considered.
Parliament is currently considering changing the law to expropriate land without compensation.
In March, people in Hermanus started moving on to vacant land and pegging out plots for the building of houses. They wanted the municipality to provide services such as electricity grids, and water and sewer lines.
Schulphoek was identified as a site they wanted because they were fed up with living in cramped conditions and high backyard rents, while luxury developments mushroomed around them.