The City of Cape Town has abandoned the public participation process for King David Mowbray Golf Club lease renewal. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town has abandoned the public participation process for King David Mowbray Golf Club lease renewal. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Public participation for King David Mowbray Golf Club lease renewal retracted

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Aug 26, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has abandoned the public participation process for King David Mowbray Golf Club lease renewal.

The City told Cape Argus that a retraction of the advert will be printed on Friday.

In a statement, the City said: “The City confirms that the advertisement inviting the public to comment on the proposed King David Mowbray Golf Club lease renewal published in the Cape Argus on July 24, 2020, has been withdrawn. The retraction advertisement will be placed on Friday, August 28, 2020. This is because the advertisement, initiating the public participation process, was placed prematurely.”

It said an administrative oversight occurred.

“Given that the application received from the existing lessee relates to a significant right to be granted the use and management of an immovable property asset, ie potentially being a period of more than three years and involving an asset value of over R10million. The matter will first be placed before Council for authority to advertise,” said the City.

The decision comes after housing activists raised concerns about the proposal to lease the King David Mowbray Golf Club for less than R1000 a month.

The City invited the public to submit comments on its plans to lease the 49.5 hectares of public land to the club for 10 years at a rental of R11 500 a year (R950 a month). The proposal has incurred the ire of activists.

Ndifuna Ukwazi researcher Michael Clark said: “The end of King David Mowbray Golf Club’s current lease offers the City a vital opportunity to act on a new vision for a just and more equal Cape Town - an opportunity that the City cannot afford to ignore.

“If the Covid-19 crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need to radically reimagine our society and our cities; this piece of land offers the perfect opportunity for the City to demonstrate a break with the business as usual approach to the inefficient, inequitable and exclusive use of well-located public land.”

Clark said Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City believe the land is ideal for the development of social or affordable housing in close proximity to hospitals, schools and public transport.

According to the City, the lease renewal application is following due process. The City has previously used a flat tariff of R920 a year for leasing out public land for sports and recreational purposes.

Earlier this year, the City made a proposal to renew the lease of the Rondebosch Golf Club for R1 000 a year until 2030.

The City said it had received 1 940 comments during the public participation process.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “The City continues to assess City-owned land, including suitable land in and near the CBD and other urban centres, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for affordable housing opportunities.

“All workable options continue to be explored in a balanced manner and in accordance with due process to see how to increase the affordable accommodation stock in Cape Town, or to help enable the provision of more stock in the market. This is an issue that the rest of the country is grappling with, too, and partnerships are required to tackle the challenges.”

Cape Argus

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