Cape Town – While the City of Cape Town has urged residents not to be misled by Reclaim the City, the group has responded by saying that facts speak for themselves.
“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,” said mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi.
“Instead of a much needed constructive partnership that the City is trying to establish, various pressure groups continue to act in bad faith, illegally and to the benefit of a few rather than the majority.”
“Such as what we saw 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. When land is invaded, or when attempts are made to occupy land illegally or when damaging publicity tricks are played on members of the public, we move backwards rather than forward,” Booi said.
He said the City’s commitment to affordable social housing in the near-inner city and other employment hubs could be substantiated with facts.
“Hence, there is seemingly the need to mislead members of the public and to direct attention away from the work that the City and many partners are already doing to bring change to the accommodation landscape, within the confines of the law,” he said.
Reclaim the City activists on Wednesday were protesting for affordable housing to be built on the piece of land for the workers who keep the City in business, but still cannot access housing in the City. They laid several bricks with cement on the grounds, symbolising the start of construction of a house.
“Like in other cities throughout the world, it is the working class that has been forced to live on the outskirts and in inhumane conditions,” the group said.
Reclaim the City spokesperson Zacharia Mashele said: “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.”