DA makes U-turn on golf courses for housing in Cape Town

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Activists from ‘Reclaim the City’ civil rights group occupy the Rondebosch Golf Course, calling for the club to be converted into social housing.
Activists from ‘Reclaim the City’ civil rights group occupy the Rondebosch Golf Course, calling for the club to be converted into social housing.
  • The DA says it has no intention of bulldozing golf courses or any other sport or recreation facilities in Cape Town.
  • The party made a U-turn following earlier comments by its leader John Steenhuisen, who said golf courses could be used for housing opportunities in Cape Town.
  • The party lashed out at those who it said were misleading the public, insinuating that the DA wanted to "bulldoze" and turn golf courses into "slums".

The DA distanced itself from comments made by its leader John Steenhuisen after he reportedly gave the thumbs up for the City of Cape Town to use golf courses for housing opportunities in the city.

In an interview on Newzroom Afrika earlier this week, Steenhuisen said he had tasked the City of Cape Town with releasing golf courses for housing.

"We are looking at accessing golf courses within the city's urban edges. There are places where you have a proliferation of golf courses. We have tasked the City to look at how we can release those well-located pieces of land to use for mixed-use developments where people can live, work and play within the urban edge," Steenhuisen said.

READ MORE | Golf courses in Cape Town eyed for housing developments - DA leader

He said this will enable residents to access existing services.

However, the party made a U-turn following Steenhuisen's interview, releasing a statement days later saying it had no intention of "bulldozing" golf courses or any other sport or recreation facilities.

This seemingly in a bid to counter claims by its rivals that the DA wants to turn golf courses into slums.

News24 approached the DA leader for comment on the about-turn but his spokesperson, Charity McCord, merely said Steenhuisen had no comment regarding the matter.

DA spokesperson for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Cilliers Brink, said in a statement the DA has never taken sport and recreation facilities away from any community in Cape Town, and never will.

Brink said:

Those who are insinuating that the DA wants to 'bulldoze' and turn golf courses in Cape Town into 'slums' are purposely trying to mislead the public. The DA has no intention of bulldozing golf courses or any other sport or recreation facilities.

"Nowhere in Cape Town, nor anywhere else in the country, does the DA have any plans to turn golf courses into 'slums', and it is patently absurd and desperate of any party to make this suggestion," he said.

ALSO READ | Elections 2021: Why housing crisis will have an impact on voting patterns in Cape Town

Brink said any party truly serious about governing would recognise the urgent need to provide more housing options in Cape Town:

Ignoring the need for more housing in Cape Town is not only cruel towards the thousands of Capetonian families who lack adequate housing, but will also lead to an explosion in land invasions and homelessness that will ultimately severely damage everyone's property values.

He said the only development currently set to take place on land previously used as a golf course in Cape Town is the R4.5 billion investment by Amazon at the River Club.

This, he said, was clearly the furthest conceivable thing from "bulldozing" to create a "slum", and will provide thousands of new job opportunities for the people of Cape Town.

"The City of Cape Town has also for months been holding extensive community consultations in relation to possibly combining into one the Mowbray and Rondebosch golf courses – which are across the road from one another. If the community decides to undertake this consolidation, it could free up valuable land for additional job-creating development," he said.

In June, News24 reported that the City had eyed the King David Mowbray Golf Club as a potential site for development. The proposal was in the draft integrated spatial development framework for the Table Bay Planning District.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
34% - 852 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
66% - 1631 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.