The City of Cape Town has released land in the inner city to build affordable housing and promised that more will follow swiftly.

On Thursday, the council approved handing over the Salt River Market precinct for the construction of houses to start.

The proposed site on Pickwick Road was approved in principle.

Housing activists have criticised the municipality for dragging its feet on previous promises to see homes built on these and other sites close to the CBD.

But, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis insists that the City’s Land Release Priority Programme is gaining momentum.

Hill-Lewis adds that they also want the national government to get on board.

“Besides doing everything in our power to release pockets of land that we control — we are also pushing forward with our calls for national government to release the huge pieces of unused state land in the city, which are at least 77 times the size of the land that the City owns, combined.”