Crane delays: Bo-Kaap residents cheer as developer's crane barred from area temporarily

Bo-Kaap residents cheered outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday as their fight to stop developments in the area was temporarily postponed – meaning construction company Blok could not start with developments.

The matter was postponed to December 18, with a court date for arguments set to be determined after consulting with the Judge President of the Western Cape High Court.

Mustaque Holland of the Cape Bar Society of Advocates told News24 that the crane cannot be moved into the area until after the next court date.

"If they do move the crane [before December 18], we have instructed them to notify us and in the event that they do, we will be approaching the court to oppose it," said Holland.

Read: Protesting Bo-Kaap residents claim small victory as crane leaves, charges dropped

"Residents say they had not agreed to developments in the area. Lawyers for Blok are alleging that certain members of the community are blocking the crane. That is false; members of the community are exercising their right to protest."

Jacky Poking, a resident of the Bo-Kaap, said the ultimate goal is to get the interim interdict [to halt their protests] thrown out because it doesn't have merit.

"I'm glad the matter has been postponed so we can get our day in court. Blok brought an earlier interdict and dropped it, so we couldn't get our day in court. Everybody should get their day in court," she said.

Protests to continue

"It's a victory because the crane cannot move in [to start construction]. It's a small victory, but not the ultimate one because we want a total stop to the development."

Blok had won a temporary interdict against the protests back in July, preventing anyone from damaging the developments. Poking, however, said protests will continue.

In November, protests broke out in the Bo-Kaap ahead of the crane's initial attempts to enter the area. Five people were arrested, but the charges were later dropped.

Blok clarified in a statement that the delivery attempt was planned via a safe and quick route that would cause the least inconvenience to residents and businesses.

Read more: Bo-Kaap Youth Movement calls for 'peaceful and positive' solution to development impasse

"The necessary permits were in place and neighbouring homes as well as community stakeholders were provided notice ahead of the delivery in accordance with the law.

"A small self-interested group has unlawfully interfered with previous deliveries and there is currently an interdict in place to prevent any further interference by this group, not the entire community as alleged.

"As per the court order, law enforcement was informed of the delivery and after their security assessment, made the necessary arrangements to prevent the kind of violent interference experienced during previous delivery attempts and to ensure the safety of the hundreds of staff working on the construction site," the statement said.

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