City should be red-faced giving green light to projects that ignore the poor
Opinion / 5 November 2019, 11:30am / Henry Arendse
Reports suggest another multi-billion rand project has been given the green light within the Cape Town CBD precinct.
This is superb for the developers and the City authorities who will reap millions.
However, the report also seems to suggest that none of the units in this project will be affordable for the normal citizen of Cape Town forcibly removed to the Cape Flats during apartheid.
My question is hence a simple one: At whom are these billion rand projects aimed? That is, who will ultimately benefit from these projects?
I work in the CBD and have counted within the Foreshore area at least four developments.
They are 35 on Lower Long; The Duke; St Georges Apartments; and The Rockefeller.
The cost of entry level apartments is R1.5million. How can a family of four from the Flats afford even a bachelor apartment in town, when our work opportunities are actually in the CBD?
The Harbour Arch is a scandalous project. Amdec should hang their heads in shame. But of course they won’t.
Why would they, when the billions will probably roll their way?
And then James Wilson, the chief executive of Amdec, says after the approval that “this is a big day for Cape Town”.
Not for the poor in Cape Town, that I can assure you, Mr Wilson.
Whoever in the City gave the green light for this development should also be ashamed of themselves, as they bowed at the altar of economic greed rather than seizing the opportunity to open their arms, welcoming back the rightful owners of the very land this project will be constructed on.
The effect of the forced removals on our people resulted in the current spatial inequities that haunt our people and keep them away from the fruits of the land.
The City is quick to hand over title deeds to citizens in Manenberg, Khayelitsha and Delft.
When will the City start handing over title deeds in Constantia, Clifton and the CBD to those forcibly removed from those areas?
What they are in fact seemingly doing is forcing people out of areas like Woodstock, Salt River, Walmer Estate and the Bo-Kaap.
Ndifuna Ukwazi, Reclaim the City and Singabalapha are fighting the good fight.
I wholeheartedly support their efforts in holding the City accountable for the continued injustice perpetrated by the City on our people.
* Henry Arendse, Goodwood.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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