Rondebosch Golf Club benefits community and land not suitable for housing, says City
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Cape Town – The City has defended its position to renew the lease of the Rondebosch Golf Club, despite 1 682 objections submitted by the public calling for it not to.
In a statement, the City said: “The proposed property usage benefits the community economically, socially, and creates employment opportunities. Cape Town drives the region’s firm share of golf tourism at over 46% to 50% of the overseas and domestic markets, with a R226million local economic contribution from golf players alone according to a 2015 study. The City also hosts a number of Sunshine Tour tournaments, extending the industry’s economic, job creation and tourism benefits beyond the social game.”
It said the City’s Spatial Planning and Environment as well as Human Settlement Directorates had confirmed the property was not suitable for housing purposes.
“The current lessee is a registered not-for-profit organisation and will be responsible for the estimated R6m annual maintenance and security cost of the property, aside from the R10 000 per annum golf tariff applicable to all courses on City land for the 2020/21 financial year,” the City said.
Earlier this week, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee announced its in-principle approval for the Rondebosch Golf Club lease renewal – a recommendation that will be passed on to City Council for the final decision next week.
In January, the City asked the public to submit comments or objections to their plans to renew the lease of 45.99ha of City-owned land (the equivalent of 45 rugby fields or a small suburb) to the Rondebosch Golf Club for 10 years at R1 058 a year.
Hundreds of housing activists marched to the club, calling on the City to prioritise the building of affordable housing for the poor. Reclaim the City said the land could be used to build 2 500 homes.
Ndifuna Ukwazi researcher Michael Clark said: “The City owns vast tracts of public land and continues to lease this land out to private institutions at nominal amounts, meaning that most of this prime public land has failed to yield additional affordable housing.
“These sports do not have maximum domestic membership, which clearly indicates that the use of land in a housing crisis is only used for the enjoyment of the few.”