Housing movement occupies Cape Town government building

2016-11-15 21:47

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Gentrification is destroying lives - Woodstock residents fighting eviction

2016-09-09 09:35

The deadline for Bromwell Street residents in Woodstock, Cape Town to leave their homes has been extended to September 26th. One of the residents says gentrification is destroying lives in Woodstock and Salt River. Watch as we tell the story of gentrification in this area.WATCH

Cape Town - Activists wanting the controversial Tafelberg Remedial School site in Sea Point converted into affordable housing, on Tuesday staged a sit-in at a provincial government office.

Members of the organisation Reclaim the City blocked the entrance to the Public Works offices in Dorp Street on Tuesday afternoon.

They wanted a feasibility study on social housing on the site, which they say was promised to them last week.

Among those blocking the entrance to the offices was activist Zackie Achmat.

Reclaim the City spokesperson Elizabeth Gqoboka told News24 that they resorted to the sit-in after they were made to wait for two hours to see a department director able to give them answers.

“All we wanted was an update on the report, just feedback,” she said.

“We waited for two hours and nobody attended to us. We then decided to close the reception desk until someone addressed us.”

Gqoboka said the official communicated with them through security staff and refused to come down to speak to them.

“At first they lied to us, saying he was not in the building. But he was there,” she insisted.

Twelve members then sat at the entrance, barring anyone from coming in or going out. 

“While we were sitting there, the security officers asked us to vacate, but we resisted. They asked us what we wanted and we told them we wanted an explanation on the status of the study. We demanded this, and they went upstairs, to where the official was. But he wouldn’t talk to us.”

The group eventually left after police were called to the scene.

Frustrated

“They said if we don’t move, we would be arrested. We left, but we are frustrated. Are they hiding something from us?” she asked.

The organisation would not back down, she warned.

“We will mobilise and come back within the week until there are answers.” 

According to Reclaim the City’s website, the 1.7 hectare Tafelberg Remedial School site belonged to the provincial government. The Western Cape department of transport and public works sold Tafelberg to a private entity in late 2015.

“(This) in spite of a request from Western Cape Department of Human Settlements that it be reserved for affordable housing, and a government supported feasibility study which concluded that the site was suitable for a social housing development of up to 341 affordable residential units.”

In May, the matter reached a turning point when the Western Cape High Court ordered that the sale of the site to the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School for R135 million be halted and that the provincial government open a public participation process.

According to the website, on July 29 the provincial cabinet asked for a new feasibility study on the use of the site for social housing.

“It needs this to make an informed decision on the proposed sale of the land,” it said.

The organisation wanted this study.


Reclaim the City supporters Tyronne McCrindle, Luyanda Mtamzeli, Elizabeth Gqoboka, Thozama Adonisi and Zackie Achmat blocked the entrance of the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. (Daneel Knoetze)

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.