Reclaim the City want to build an inclusive spatially just city. We are campaigning for the redistribution of empty and underutilised public land and buildings to poor and working class people. We provide support and solidarity to our members who are struggling with landlords and being evicted into homelessness and displacement. We believe there can be no just eviction in a housing crisis and we will give advice, defend and resist unjust evictions in the courts and on the streets.
Land & Housing
Where people live matters. Public land should be used for public good. We campaign for public land to be used for well-located affordable housing for poor and working-class people.
Over the past years, we have been holding the City of Cape Town to release and develop social and affordable housing on the 11 sites earmarked for housing. We demand the Western Cape Province and City of Cape Town to regulate the private sector and adopt an inclusionary housing policy.
We demand the City to STOP leasing vast tracks golf courses’ land for nominal value. We monitor the use public land and make objections to land that should be used for people and not for profit. Our strategies include protest tactics, formal objections to the City council and the Municipal Planning Tribunal.
Resisting Evictions & Displacements
Resisting Evictions and Displacements (RED). We stop the displacement of poor and working-class people from well-located areas due to gentrification, exorbitant rental increase.
Few tenants can secure legal representation and even when represented, most tenants hope a lawyer will solve all their problems but the truth is that the limit of the law means that the most tenants can expect is more time. and rely solely on them to ensure a just and equitable result.
If we are going to make systemic changes to how tenants are treated then we need to build tenant power. This is possible when tenants stand together and are able to provide quality advice to each other. Taking inspiration from La PAH in Barcelona, Reclaim the City set up an advice assembly in late 2017.
Families often feel ashamed if they are evicted, but high rents and a lock of affordable housing is not the fault of families who work hard and pay their rent – it is a systemic housing problem and a symptom of the failure of government – we believe there can be no just eviction in a housing crisis with a backlog of more than 365 000 families on the waiting list.
If our members are being unlawfully evicted we will help them to resist that eviction. We are able to bring fellow members very quickly to any home in areas where we organise and mobilise. We know that when landlords (and including the City of Cape Town) are faced with numbers of people who know the law, then we are able to ensure that people stay in their homes.