Province agrees to discuss future of Tafelberg School

Activists to reconsider intended court action against provincial government

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Photo of Reclaim the City march in Sea Point
Supporters of the Reclaim the City campaign want city housing to be more accessible to low-income families. Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

Dozens of supporters of a campaign called Reclaim the City marched from the Sea Point Pavillion to Tafelberg School this afternoon. They are demanding that the transfer of the sale of Tafelberg School be delayed so that the lawfulness of the sale can be decided.

The aim of the Reclaim the City Campaign, started by activist organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU), is for prime state-owned land to be used for mixed income housing, rather than be sold to private developers without strings attached.

GroundUp previously reported that the Tafelberg School site was sold by the provincial government to the private Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School. NU wants the sale to the school to be stopped, so that the land can rather be used to house both low- and high-income families.

Mandisa Shandu, an attorney at NU, said that following a public meeting last week the organisation had decided it would go to court to interdict the transfer. “But there was quite a drastic change this morning when the province proposed to us to proceed by way of mediation,” she said.

Shandu said this “means that [the province] is listening to us and considering suspending the transfer of the property until meeting and negotiating with us.” She said this meant NU would have to reconsider going to court.

NU’s director Zackie Achmat told the protesters “We are not afraid to say that Sea Point belongs to everyone who lives in it. We want to say to the residents of Sea Point, ‘Don’t be afraid to share your wealth. Don’t be afraid of justice. Don’t be afraid of all of us.’”

GroundUp will, in the next few days, be seeking detailed comment from the provincial government on the issues raised by the Reclaim the City campaign.

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TOPICS:  Government Housing Tafelberg

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