Housing protest in Cape Town leaves safety and security MEC 'irritated'

2019-05-02 07:27
Housing activists build a wall on a Green Point bowling green on Workers’ Day. (Peter Luhanga, GroundUp)

Housing activists build a wall on a Green Point bowling green on Workers’ Day. (Peter Luhanga, GroundUp)

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Following their Human Rights Day protest at the Rondebosch Golf Course, activist group Reclaim the City on Wednesday took to the Green Point Bowling Green, protesting for affordable housing to be built while at the same time digging foundations and laying bricks.

This comes as the group says City of Cape Town deputy Mayor Ian Neilson promised affordable housing on that particular land for workers who keep the City in business. 

In a statement, the group said "For more than a century, International Workers’ Day has been celebrated to denounce the conditions of workers including the lack of decent housing across the world. It is through our labour that the City of Cape Town was built, and yet there is still no place for us."

"The Green Point Bowling Green is an example of the City’s failure to redistribute land and prioritise the needs of poor and working-class residents," the group said. 

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith expressed his irritation at today’s protest and subsequent occupation.

He said the act was illegal and it was the City’s job to act in accordance with the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act.

"The occupation is illegal," he told News24. "I’m further irritated because such acts come at an opportunity cost when we had to redeploy law enforcement to that area, leaving other parts of the city vulnerable." 

On the basis of it being a housing protest, Smith said he was in no position to comment on the matter, merely expressing his safety concerns. 

"We continue to make the call for land to be redistributed for the poor and working class. We are here to demand Ian Neilson not to renew the lease of Green Point Bowling Green and to stand by his commitment to use this land for affordable housing," the group further added.

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town  |  housing  |  land
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