Court battle looms over the rezoning of the Philippi Horticultural Area. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archive
Cape Town - A war of words has broken out between the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) Food and Farming campaign and Premier Alan Winde.

It came after Winde responded to a letter from a concerned citizen who approached Winde to withdraw his support for the looming court action. This as the PHA campaign readies for a court battle with the provincial government and the City of Cape Town.

Activists who have been campaigning for the protection of the PHA want the court to review 12 approved development rezonings in the area.

In the letter Winde said: “I am informed that, from the record that has been filed by Minister Bredell and the City in these court proceedings, the applications submitted to Minister Bredell and our officials were substantive, and consist, inter alia, of expert research and reports containing data gathered over many years, in terms of which consideration was given to, inter alia, the aquifer and the alleged agricultural potential and usage of the land in question, both past and present and alternative land uses.”

He also stated in the letter that the application by the PHA food and farming campaign “is ill-founded”.

On October 15 and 16, the PHA Food and Farming Campaign will be arguing in the high court for the preservation of a key piece of agricultural.

The case challenges administrative decisions to rezone a part of the PHA for mixed-use development.

Campaign chairperson Nazeer Sonday said: “If I lose this court case I stand to lose my land and the work I have done all my adult life. It’s untrue that my court papers are emotive, we have a very solid case and one of the things we are asking the court is to establish whether this is agricultural land or not.”

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Cape Argus