Activists occupy Rondebosch Golf Course, demand land redistribution
“We will come back to build our shacks here”
About a hundred housing activists marched on to the green at Rondebosch Golf Club on Saturday morning calling on the City of Cape Town to prioritise building affordable housing for poor and working class people.
Led by Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City, the activists wore red regalia, carried red flags and a big banner that read: “Redistribute this public land, redistribute all public land.”
About 20 golfers stopped play and left the course. The protest started at 11am and ended two hours later.
Kyla Hazel of Ndifuna Ukwazi said: “This is well located land, near schools, hospitals and transport.”
Last year, GroundUp reported that the Rondebosch Golf Club pays the City of Cape Town R1,000 a year for the use of 450,000 square metres of prime land.
A member of the Social Justice Coalition, Nontando Mhlabeni, told those gathered, “This land is very beautiful. It is big and can accommodate many houses … Many of us are staying in Khayelitsha, where there are problems of floods and fire outbreaks. I am hurt. If the City doesn’t take today’s demonstration seriously we will come back to build our shacks here and stay close to the city, near our jobs.”
In a joint press statement on Saturday, Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City said: “The City has invited the public to comment on its plans to renew the lease of a piece of prime City-owned land to the Rondebosch Golf Club at a nominal rental of R1,058 per year. The City plans to renew the lease, which dates back to 1937, for an additional ten years.”
“How is it that an exclusionary sports club is paying less per year than someone living in Khayelitsha can spend in one month just on travel commuting to the inner city for work? At the same time, the unlimited membership of the golf club costs R17,000 per year, while according to StatsSA, the average South African only earns R13,546 per year. Who really benefits from this lease?”
Comment from the City will be added when it is received.
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