The City of Cape Town is gearing up to evict the more than 900 people occupying Woodstock Hospital. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is gearing up to evict the more than 900 people occupying Woodstock Hospital.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “The Woodstock Hospital site has been earmarked for social housing opportunities but the planning of these opportunities can formally commence once the acquisition of the property from the Western Cape government (WCG) has been approved by council.”

He said the city has commissioned a feasibility analysis for the redevelopment of the Woodstock Hospital.

“The development of the Woodstock hospital is under severe pressure due to the illegal occupation of the building, despite the city obtaining an interdict earlier in the year to prevent further illegal occupation. Any illegal actions on this site or other sites must be viewed as sabotage of the city’s inclusive housing process,” Booi said.

Since the old hospital was occupied in March 2017, the number of residents has increased steadily. The occupation is orchestrated by Reclaim the City, which has “renamed” the hospital Cissie Gool House. Gool was an anti-apartheid activist and a member of the Cape Town City Council until her death in 1963.

Booi said the city was concerned about a new trend of “hijacking of buildings”.

“It impacts on the provision of housing opportunities within the city centre. In addition, it might render these developments moot due to the site and/or existing building not being available as a direct result of illegal occupation,” Booi said.

But Reclaim the City remains adamant they won’t move. “We fought against apartheid and we are aware that we will need more energy to take on the city but we will do everything that’s necessary to ensure that our people are not homeless,” said leader Bevil Lucas.

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Cape Argus