Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town – The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association says property developer Blok Urban Living intended to mislead the court into thinking only a small group of people were resisting gentrification when the company omitted them as a respondent.

The association filed its answering affidavit against Blok’s Western Cape High Court application for an interdict to stop residents from interrupting construction at the Lion Street site it bought in March 2017.

Bo-Kaap residents aim to preserve the area’s culture and history, charging that developers were a threat to it.

Blok’s interdict application is expected in court on February 25.

The association said yesterday it was omitted as the official representative organisation to give the impression only a small group was resisting Blok Urban Living.

“This is materially inaccurate as the frustration and resistance to the Blok development is shared across the community, with daily peaceful protests convened.

“St Monica’s land historically had public and social uses since the early 1900s, when it first operated as a maternity hospital and later as an old-age facility,” the association said.

Blok did not respond by deadline.

The city had approved the development of 56 residential units at the site and construction started in April last year.

In July, Blok asked the court for an initial interdict against the Bo-Kaap Youth Movement and “all other persons trespassing” on erf 2970. They later withdrew the application, but in November applied for a new one.

The civic association said the new units were unaffordable for working-class people.

“The Bo-Kaap community is opposing the second application on the grounds of the abuse of court process; non-compliance with the judge’s order; failure to disclose this to the court; and contempt of court by Blok and their community counterpart, the Bo-Kaap Youth Movement.

“The civic association is contesting the legality of the City of Cape Town’s sale of public land to Blok in a separate legal process,” said the association.

Cape Times