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Reclaim the City hits at ‘empty housing promises’

Albert Road in Woodstock. File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Albert Road in Woodstock. File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 19, 2019

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Cape Town – Reclaim the City has accused the city council of making empty promises when it identified 11 sites in the Woodstock and Salt River areas for affordable housing.

“Eleven sites and other parcels of land have been committed for housing by the City of Cape Town.

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“These sites have been earmarked for transitional, social and affordable housing in the Woodstock and Salt River area.

“It has been two years since the City promised to develop these parcels of land, but little has been done since,” Reclaim the City said.

The social housing advocacy group said it was very concerning in the context of a housing crisis and continued spatial inequality.

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“We are demanding more urgency in the delivery of these commitments,” the organisation said.

Reclaim the City held a mass meeting last night to give members of the public an update on the matter.

“We want the public to come and hear more about what commitments have been made, our journey to this point and how we got here, what has been done, and how we can hold the City accountable together,” it said.

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Social housing law activists Ndifuna Ukwazi conducted a feasibility study on prime land within the CBD leased to various entities which it was believed could be used for affordable housing. The report, called “City Leases”, cites Cape Town’s failure to redistribute the land.

The report focuses on one particular problem - leased land owned by the City of Cape Town which they say should be prioritised for redistribution “but instead is used in an inefficient, exclusive and unsustainable manner”.

The report contains proposals for five areas that could be used. These are Rondebosch Golf Club, Buitengracht Corridor, Harrington Square, Green Point Bowling Green and Fish Hoek Bowling Green. It also identifies 24 golf courses in the city, of which 10 are located on public land.

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According to the organisation, golf courses and bowling greens faced declining membership yet every year the city council continued to renew their leases. Mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi dismissed Reclaim the City’s claims.

“They are talking nonsense because our engineers are currently on site assessing the land. We are planning on developing those sites,” Booi said.

Cape Argus

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