ANC objects to City of Cape Town’s development plans for Woodstock Hospital
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Cape Town - The ANC has raised objections to the City's plans to evict residents from the Woodstock Hospital, which has been under occupation by housing activists.
This follows Mayoral member for human settlements Malusi Booi’s remarks at the weekend about the City’s redevelopment plans for the site.
Last month, the City said the site could be ready for handover to a social housing institution within 2021. However, it said if the property was not vacated by all the present occupants, apparently backed by activist groups Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi, redevelopment, including the provision of social housing units, would be impossible.
Western Cape legislature political constituency head for Central Cape Town and the Atlantic Seaboard, Khalid Sayed said removing the occupants would violate the National State of Disaster regulations.
“The Western Cape High Court overturned the sale of the Tafelberg School site in Sea Point and, in addition, ordered both the Cape Town and Western Cape governments to create an inclusionary housing plan on the Sea Point site.
“The City should offer lasting solutions that are not similar to (those of) the diabolical apartheid government, who forcefully evicted people of colour from these communities to preserve and promote a whites-only status,” Sayed said.
Sayed said if the City wanted to address the critical issue of housing it would engage with Reclaim the City, Ndifuna Ukwazi and affected residents in a meaningful manner, instead of name-calling.
“The provincial government and City must fulfil the high court's ruling in relation to the Tafelberg property to show that it genuinely wants to deliver housing in these areas to poor and vulnerable people.
The leader of Reclaim the City’s Woodstock Chapter, Karen Hendricks said there had been no public participation process regarding the use of Woodstock Hospital as a site for redevelopment and housing allocation, which was part of the process.
“The City has in some of its proposals for redevelopment with some of the other sites, said they will start public participation in January this year, but a word has not been put out there to the public regarding this process, and the redevelopment of the site. In an eviction process there are nine steps that need to be followed, and we have not even reached the platform of meaningful engagement, which is the first step,” she said.
Booi said the City was currently embarking on a court process.
“We will await a court outcome on the matter that will give us guidance on what needs to happen.There is a process that needs to be followed; we have to access each individual and check what type of housing subsidy they qualify for.
“What we want as a City is to ensure that we develop these sites, particularly the Woodstock site, so that we can address the housing backlog that we have,” Booi said.