‘More hot air’- RTC

2019-05-07 06:00
Members and supporters of the Reclaim the City movement descended on The Glen Country Club on Wednesday 1 May to plead for more affordable housing. PHOTO: Jaco Marais/DIE Burger

Members and supporters of the Reclaim the City movement descended on The Glen Country Club on Wednesday 1 May to plead for more affordable housing. PHOTO: Jaco Marais/DIE Burger

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Following the occupation of Green Point Bowling Club’s land at The Glen Country Club last Wednesday, housing activist group Reclaim the City (RTC) have hit back at the City of Cape Town.

“Today (Thursday 2 May) we hear more ‘hot air’ from Malusi Booi and the cabal running the City. The facts speak for themselves. They have renewed the lease on the bowling green for the exclusive use of a wealthy few. They have not given any dates when they will break ground here or any of the sites promised for affordable housing in the inner city and surrounds,” says Bevil Lucas, one of RTC’s leaders.

He adds that the peaceful protest, where members and supporters built a painted brick wall which was later broken down, was in an effort to ask for the City to take account for the “promises they made” which have been “reframed as a land invasion by criminals.”

The message, inscribed with black paint on the wall read: “City of Cape Town – build affordable housing here!”

Lucas adds the affordable housing “crisis affects everybody” in this city, and they will continue the campaign until they see actual bricks being laid for new houses.

The City released a statement last Thursday in response to RTC’s demonstration a day earlier, labelling RTC’s activities as “illegal occupation stunts”.

“It is very clear that the real social and human need for affordable housing opportunities continues to be used to drive political, lobbying and funding agendas,” read the statement from Malusi Booi, Mayco member for human settlements.

Booi adds that groups such as RTC “continue to act in bad faith, illegally and to the benefit of a few rather than to the majority.”

He says the City operates within legal boundaries which has to include the interests of all its residents.

“Every time that we see an illegal occupation, be it instigated by community leaders, criminal elements, political organisations or pressure- and lobby groups, such as what we saw yesterday (Wednesday 1 May) at the Green Point Bowling Club, we deny fair and systematic processes amid a very high demand for accommodation brought on by continued rapid urbanisation,” states Booi.

The City further stipulated that they are developing affordable housing near the city, with an emphasis on central Cape Town, while working on a plan to use the site RTC protested on for affordable housing opportunities.

“It will not be the entire site as this is a mixed-use site and the City will follow all due process and the law.

“The City is very clear in its commitment to social housing and increased delivery of housing opportunities, but it will not be bullied into illegal actions to achieve this,” adds Booi.

V Continued to page 2.

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