Court stops sale of controversial Tafelberg site for now

In April Redi Tlhabi spoke to the different players involved in the highly contested Tafelberg school site in Sea Point.

The Ndifuna Ukwazi law centre which filed papers in the High Court on behalf of Sea Point resident, Mrs Thozama Adonisi, and others, was requesting that the Western Cape Provincial Government be blocked from selling the School.

Residents of Sea Point along with Reclaim the City, were trying to block the sale of the state owned land to a private buyer, arguing it should be used for affordable housing instead.

Then on the 5th May the Western Cape High Court stopped the sale and ordered the government to publish a new notice for the proposed sale. The court ordered a three-week submission period for public responses.

Reclaim the City says the interdict will give supporters time to make submissions regarding the allocation of the plot. It says the interdict was a small victory in its campaign to see the establishment of affordable housing in the city centre.

Redi Tlhabi talks to Mandisa Shandu, an attorney with Ndifuna Ukwazi and MEC Housing Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela talks to Redi Tlhabi about what lies ahead.

What does this mean for the future of making state owned land available for affordable low cost housing in Cape Town?

Listen to the latest discussion below:

The discussion in April on The Redi Tlhabi show below:

Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre has taken the Western Cape government to court over the sale of land that was earmarked for low-cost housing in the prestigious Atlantic seaboard suburb of Sea Point.

There are over 500 000 people who are on the housing waiting list.

702/Cape Talk's Redi Tlhabi hosted various people involved to get to the bottom of the issue.

Listen to the converstion below:

I started applying before 2004, more than 20 years ago. I went to the meeting (that spoke) of the promise we had at Sea Point at Tafelberg.

Thozama Adonisi, main applicant

Thozama was born and raised in Cape Town's Gugulethu township in 1967. She has never owned a house.

What is going to happen to the people who have been waiting for the land in the city? It's been a long time.

Thozama Adonisi, main applicant

I wouldn't frame the issue squarely around whether it was promised to specific individuals, but rather the legal processes that are required to be followed prior to the disposal of the piece of state land.

Mandisa Shandu, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre

There is a backlog of about half a million people waiting to get access to housing and the similar issue around the spacial injustice and inequality in the city.

Mandisa Shandu, Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre

What we're asking the courts to do is to have the various decisions pertaining to the sale reviewed and set aside, with the hope that if that is done by the court, then the whole decision will be revisited.

Mandisa Shandu, Ndifuna Ukwazi Legal Centre

Siphesihle denied Ndifuni Ukwazi's claim, going further to assert that the government has been transparent and accessible throughout the process.

We suggested a mediation process before the court papers were filed. There was definitely ample opportunity for organisations that may not be able to access the courts to interact with the Western Cape government.

Siphesihle Dube, Western Cape government spokesperson

We cannot look at pieces of land in isolation to the bigger picture. We are living in tough economic times, we must be responsible to how we, as government, generate revenue.

Siphesihle Dube, Western Cape government spokesperson

This article first appeared on 702 : Court stops sale of controversial Tafelberg site for now


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