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