Artists indefinitely occupy a Camps Bay mansion, demanding a national rent freeze

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After booking a Camps Bay luxury house for a weekend, an art collective by the name #WeSeeYou has declared an indefinite sit in to address matters around land and housing (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
After booking a Camps Bay luxury house for a weekend, an art collective by the name #WeSeeYou has declared an indefinite sit in to address matters around land and housing (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
  • After booking a luxury house in Cape Town for a weekend, an art collective by the name #WeSeeYou has declared an indefinite sit in to address matters around land and housing.
  • It has been seven days since the group was first meant to check out of the house. 
  • The seven occupants are now facing legal action from Turnkey365 who manage the property’s rentals.


On the weekend of 19 September 2020 a party of seven booked a two-day stay at a luxury house in Camps Bay.

Comprising five bedrooms and five bedrooms, the multilevel mansion has a panoramic view spanning Lion’s Head, Camps Bay beach and the blue Atlantic ocean beyond. Depending on the season, a one-day rental of the house started at R4000, 00. 

On 21 September 2020, when they were due to check-out, the group refused, declaring an indefinite sit-in. 

Formally known as #WeSeeYou, the art as activism collective is occupying the Camps Bay Mansion demanding that the government create a rent freeze under the disaster management act. The sit-in is part of a global movement working for homeless and landless persons, particularly those who cannot afford rent or face violence in their residence. This especially speaks to the lack of safe spaces for queer people, women and children amidst South Africa’s  rife rates of gender based violence. 

In a statement declaring their intent, the collective said the following: 

A lot of energy and resources have been invested in creating an anti - occupation narrative, painting occupiers and land and housing activists as dangerous and malicious, instead of simply in need. These harmful narratives lead people to believe that occupations will invite crime, or threaten individual’s property rights and homes
#WeSeeYour press statement

As a part of their action the collective has asked for the company that manages the property to facilitate an open dialogue between the collective and the owner of the investment property. 

We hope that this could be an opportunity to collectively set a precedent for cooperation between the private and civil sector to urgently redress our current social crises. We trust our safety will not be compromised.
#WeSeeYou Press statement

In response to this, Turnkey365 Property Management, who handle the mansion’s bookings, gave the occupants until Thursday, 24 September 2020 to vacate the house. The group has not budged. On 25 September 2020 Turnkey365 released a statement saying they have decided to take legal and civil action to successfully evict the occupants and recoup all costs incurred by them overstaying according to the booking they made. The statement then went on to say the following: 

We sympathise with their cause and support the right to protest within the confines of the law. We intend to fulfil our mandate and protect the legal rights of the homeowner. Equally we intend to uphold the legal rights of our small business as well as those of our colleagues across the tourism industry as we struggle to recover from the impact of the Covid19 pandemic.
Turnkey365 Property Management Press Statement

Given that it is now a legal matter under investigation, the property manager will no longer be making any further comments. 

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