Wisdom needed

Recently the Speaker of Council stated “Jesus said, the poor will always be amongst us”.

He explained that this included those who were mentally wanting and behaved poorly in Council. In Cape Town we have issues with some who behave foolishly in Council and agitate others. This leads to verbal abuse across the floor and often parties walk out, delaying serious matters.

I thought “the poor” just meant money.

After reading the headline “Land spat: De Lille vs DA”, it is obvious that “Aunty Pat” was not going to allow her deeply fueled hatred of the DA to go unpunished and that local ratepayers will pay the price of her vengeance.

To intercede I suggest that “Aunty Pat” and her National Department consider my compromise.

Her department install groundwork (water, electricity, roads etc.) and divide the land into 500sqm erfs.

Since poor people usually do not make a meaningful impact on the tax or the rates base of any City, we must consider lessening the burden on the 4 million local taxpayers by growing the middle class substantially.

Instead of building low cost housing near the city, the land must be sold via public competition to the middle class. Example, Youngsfield and Wingfield are surrounded by middle class suburbs where vacant land sell for between R1000 to R2000 per square meter. A 500sq plot can sell for R750 000. Another R750 000 for a house brings the rates income to nearly R1000 per house.

The regulation passed by Council on Thursday 31st Oct, allows for “provision of a third dwelling as an additional use right for properties zoned as Single Residential. A third dwelling as an additional use right means that the property owner is allowed to add a third dwelling on the property without prior approval from the City subject to the normal development rules of the property etc.” Thus on a 500sq meter vacant erf, three generations of a family can be housed when 3 levels are built with ample parking. Increasing the middle class increases taxes.

The working class benefits directly from this raising middle class as homes become available on the lower ranks of the property market. The increase in rates allows for more low cost housing on the periphery of the city where land is cheap. What is needed, is cheap and safer and reliable bus and train transport for the poor.

South Africa owes the world R3 Trillion. Our expenses exceed our income. Our nation is in theory, bankrupt. The time for political games, petty emotions and empty promises are over. Tax increases will not help.

A genuine solution is to increase the middle class tax base and pray to God Almighty that it works.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress