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Controversial Rondebosch Golf Club lease extended by City of Cape Town

22 October 2020 8:50 AM
Tags:
Rondebosch Golf Club

Public Affairs Research Institute senior researcher Dr Federica Duca discusses the implications and impact of the lease extension.

Land ownership and access are thorny issues in South Africa.

In the City of Cape Town concerned groups Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi are calling for more land to be made available for housing, instead of what they view as an elite sport.

Now, the City of Cape Town has, in principle, extended the lease of the controversial Rondebosch Golf Club for ten years with a two-year cancellation clause. (see CoCT statement below)

Dr Federica Duca, a senior researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute, speaks to John Maytham about the implications and impact of the extension of lease granted to the Rondebosch Golf Club by the City of Cape Town.

Duca situates the Rondebosch golf course within a much broader global debate about affordable housing, food security, and the need to produce more just and equal spaces.

She raises two points she considers important.

The first is that the City of Cape Town is truly missing an opportunity to engage in meaningful debate around inequality and its modes of production in South Africa.

Dr Federica Duca, Senior researcher - Public Affairs Research Institute

She suggests rather than waiting two years the City should start at once to establish if the golf course can be used in a different way.

Secondly, she says, the decision the City has made maintains the status quo. She raises the possibility of this being an indication of the power of urban residents associations and ratepayers associations over local government decision-making.

It is a missed opportunity for participatory democracy and collective ownership.

Dr Federica Duca, Senior researcher - Public Affairs Research Institute

The City has, however, argued that there was a public participatory process, notes John Maytham, with the City adding in its statement that objections and comments from civic and ratepayers associations were taken int account

Duca responds that while that is true, the ratepayers' associations appear to have carried far more weight with the City.

When we have this kind of unbalanced power then obviously the final decision will go more towards one direction than the other.

Dr Federica Duca, Senior researcher - Public Affairs Research Institute

The City of Cape Town has stated clearly that the Rondebosch site has severe development constraints.

RELATED: Rondebosch Golf Club not suitable for housing, says City of Cape Town

The City states:

While the Rondebosch site has severe development constraints, lease renewals for golf courses on City-owned land should not be confused with a final decision on whether or not future housing would be built on a property, which is a separate legislative process entirely.

City of Cape Town statement - Rondebosch Golf Club's lease renewed

The City’s draft Human Settlements Strategy, which is out for public comment until 30 November 2020 is clear that all municipal land is being assessed for its human settlements potential, including golf courses.

City of Cape Town statement - Rondebosch Golf Club's lease renewed

In that case, Duce suggests the discussion begins at once, rather than the granting of a lease for ten years with a two-year cancellation clause.

The conversation should be started now.

Dr Federica Duca, Senior researcher - Public Affairs Research Institute

She says there are many options that can be implemented on this land.

Duca discusses research done on golf courses historically which have resurged over the past number of years which could contribute usefully to the discussion.

Listen to the interview below:


22 October 2020 8:50 AM
Tags:
Rondebosch Golf Club

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