Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi was ambushed by housing activists on Friday while having coffee, after he made comments blaming Reclaim the City for halting the supply of social housing in the inner city. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus
Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi was ambushed by housing activists on Friday while having coffee, after he made comments blaming Reclaim the City for halting the supply of social housing in the inner city. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus

Cape housing mayco member in blame game about delay in inner city social housing

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Nov 16, 2020

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Cape Town - Frustrated housing activists ambushed Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi on Friday after he made comments blaming Reclaim the City for halting the supply of social housing in the inner city.

Ndifuna Ukwazi community organiser Buhle Booi said: “He spoke about our occupations and criminalised them saying that our occupations are blocking developments. The Woodstock Hospital was earmarked for social housing, but nothing has happened and the site has been vacant for years.”

Buhle Booi slammed the City for not taking the people who occupy these buildings into consideration.

In an opinion piece published in the Cape Argus (City of Cape Town’s database ensures fair allocation of housing), the City wrote in response to a story published earlier about the families who had been occupying the Woodstock Hospital who have called the City’s housing database “meaningless” (WATCH: Housing database meaningless according to families occupying old Woodstock Hospital).

In response to the article, the City said: “In the central city area, it is not the Housing Needs Register that is the obstacle to the delivery of affordable housing opportunities to legally defined beneficiaries, the unlawful occupation campaigns of Reclaim the City is one of the biggest obstacles to the building of suitable social housing on well-located sites.

“If these properties are not vacated by all the Reclaim the City occupants, redevelopment, including the provision of social housing units, is impossible,” said Malusi Booi.

Woodstock Chapter leader Karen Hendricks said: “How do you justify a database that does not address the needs of the people? We will not be deterred by these comments by the City.”

In a story published last week, housing activists pleaded and said they could not live on the City’s housing database forever. According to statements last year from the province, there were 600 000 people on the housing database; 365 000 were in the City alone and there were indications this number could be growing every year.

Researcher at Ndifuna Ukwazi Michael Clark said: “If councillor Booi was realistic, he would have known that over the lockdown period many people have lost income and have been evicted … it is need that has driven people to start occupying land. Councillor Booi can say its politically motivated, but it’s need based.”

Malusi Booi said: “As a City we are doing our job and fulfilling our constitutional mandate. We have limited resources. We believe there is a revolt from pressure groups against the City.”

Cape Argus

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