What is the Tafelberg Campaign?
The Tafelberg Site in Sea Point is one of the last few remaining parcels of public land in Sea Point that is large enough to develop affordable public housing. No new affordable housing has been built along the Atlantic Seaboard since the end of Apartheid. Sea Point is a wealthy and very mixed area with shops, restaurants and offices – despite this most workers live in basements or shared rooms or are forced to commute from far away. Carers and domestic workers especially struggle to find affordable housing – the little space that does exist is not dignified – most employers do not let you have a family or even cook in your room.
How did the campaign start?
Reclaim the City and our partner Ndifuna Ukwazi launched the #StopTheSale campaign for affordable housing on the Tafelberg site in early 2016, when the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works tried to sell the site in Sea Point to a private school in December 2015 for R135 million. We wanted to disrupt business as usual and prove that public land in well-located areas can be used for affordable public housing.
Read more about the campaign here
Why did we go to Court?
In May 2016, the Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre brought a review application to the Western Cape High Court, arguing that both the Province and the City have failed in their Constitutional obligations to redress spatial apartheid in central Cape Town.
What else is going on?
The Tafelberg Site was not an isolated decision. The Province has now admitted that the R135 million from the sale was earmarked to pay for a new skyscraper to house the Education Department on Dorp Street in the city centre. This project was being pushed through by senior politicians because it was seen as “too big to fail.”
What has the City of Cape Town done?
What has the National Government done?
When the National Department of Human Settlements heard about how the Province had sold the land, the launched their own court case to #StopTheSale. They are arguing that the Province did not follow the right procedure in terms of its obligations to other spheres of government. Now both cases will be heard together.