Activists have occupied Woodstock Hospital, which they have since named Cissie Gool House, since 2017 in an effort to draw attention to the need for affordable housing.
Activists have occupied Woodstock Hospital, which they have since named Cissie Gool House, since 2017 in an effort to draw attention to the need for affordable housing.

Woodstock hospital occupants await court decision on eviction

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Aug 8, 2019

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Cape Town – Families who have been occupying the Woodstock Hospital, dubbed the Cissie Gool House by human rights activists, will hear a decision on an eviction order within the next few weeks.

The City in January obtained an interdict against the hundreds of Reclaim the City supporters who have been occupying the premises since 2017. Following a mayoral committee meeting on Tuesday, Reclaim the City said that an eviction resolution had not yet been taken.

The site is one of the five parcels of public land in the inner city included in the request for proposals (RFP) process that the City recently put a stop to without reason.

Other sites include Fruit and Veg in Roeland Street, and New Market Street.

The group said: “Mayor Dan Plato committed to halt the Cissie Gool House eviction and has committed to visit our occupation to see how we’ve turned an old building into a beautiful home for evictees.

“We first occupied the public building when former Premier Helen Zille refused to stop the sale of the Tafelberg site, one of the last parcels of state land in Sea Point.

“Since then many promises have been made to redistribute well-located state land for affordable housing. Most have been broken or delayed. 

"It’s still true to say that no new affordable public housing has been built in the inner city and surrounds or any well-located area since the end of apartheid.”

Plato said the Woodstock Hospital site had been earmarked for social housing opportunities, which could only formally commence once the acquisition of the property from the provincial government had been approved by council.

“A decision on the acquisition of the property will be made by the mayoral committee. The City has commissioned a feasibility analysis for the redevelopment of the Woodstock Hospital. 

"A team of construction consultants are currently busy with the analysis. The outcome of this analysis, among others, will guide us on the way forward.

“In the meantime, the City will continue to assess City-owned

land, including in and near the Cape Town CBD, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for housing opportunities. We are committed to inclusivity,” Plato said.

Reclaim the City said an attempted eviction of the residents would be the biggest eviction in the inner city since the destruction of District Six.

They vowed to resist this as they would be left homeless.

“In this old broken hospital, we have built a community that we are proud of with the few resources we have. We are newborn babies, we are students, we are elderly and we are disabled people,” they said.

Cape Times

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