Western Cape Premier Alan Winde talked about rail transport and his Security Plan in his State of the Province Tackle, however his description of the occupation of provincially owned properties in central Cape City had activists fuming.
Spatial integration throughout the interior metropolis of Cape City has been a burning problem between activists and native and provincial authorities for a while. Throughout his State of the Province Tackle in Mitchells Plain on Thursday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde stated unlawful occupiers had been stopping the provincial authorities from offering housing.
“After all, we already know that if folks stay nearer to their workplace, site visitors will lower. That’s why we’re dedicated to delivering options which can create inexpensive housing alternatives in proximity to our financial centres,” stated Winde. He continued: “Equally advanced conditions involving housing, land and unlawful occupations proceed to play themselves out in our province, and certainly throughout our nation.”
Whereas there have been many occupations within the province, none irk the province greater than Reclaim the Metropolis’s occupations of two provincially owned properties within the coronary heart of the Cape City CBD.
“Each the Woodstock Hospital and Helen Bowden blended housing challenge websites are overrun by unlawful occupants — lots of whom had been inspired to take their legal motion by registered NGOs purporting to face for land redistribution. How ironic, then, that these very organisations are driving the precise reverse final result. The longer these websites are illegally occupied, and the extra expensive delays we endure, the much less we’ll be capable of ship,” stated Winde.
Reclaim the Metropolis has occupied the vacant Helen Bowden Nurses House and the previous Woodstock Hospital which occupiers have renamed Ahmed Kathrada Home and Cissie Gool Home respectively.
In 2019, native and provincial authorities admitted that no social housing had been constructed within the inner-city CBD over the previous 25 years.
“To those occupiers I say — vacate these premises in order that we are able to construct houses for individuals who have waited patiently for many years to obtain much-deserved redress. Some may ask, why can we merely not drive them out? Effectively, these occupiers and the organisations which help them are abusing the well-meaning legal guidelines of our nation to go well with their ends.
“The PIE Act, which was initially enacted in 1998 to forestall unfair evictions, is getting used as a weapon by unlawful invaders to drive the federal government into offering them with emergency housing, successfully permitting them to leap the housing queue. Merely put, these invaders are holding the federal government and longstanding housing queue beneficiaries to ransom,” stated Winde.
Not as soon as throughout his speech did Winde converse concerning the promise by former human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, who promised in March 2019 that 10,000 housing alternatives can be constructed within the inner-city areas of Bo-Kaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and the CBD. By November 2019, this promise had dwindled to 2,000, with no rationalization.
At one level, Winde stated: “These invaders are making the federal government job of delivering housing alternatives to these most deserving, and of addressing previous spatial biases in residence possession, fully not possible”.
Reclaim the Metropolis has labelled Winde’s feedback “ridiculous”.
“The Premier tries to color our occupations as illegal, however the actuality is that we’re the identical individuals who would profit from state-subsidised inexpensive housing — if solely the province constructed it. The province has failed poor and working-class households again and again. It has refused to prioritise the event of inexpensive housing in well-located areas. And now it’s blaming individuals who want houses for its lack of supply,” stated Reclaim the Metropolis’s Woodstock chapter chief Karen Hendricks.
Hendricks added: “Due to the federal government’s failure, many poor and working-class households have been pressured to occupy vacant or unused state land to make it possible for they don’t develop into homeless.
“Poor and working-class households can not wait eternally whereas the province continues to make empty guarantees. Individuals can’t stay in a ready record. Our occupations in Woodstock and Inexperienced Level supply houses to seamstresses, lecturers, nurses, caretakers, home employees, shop-keepers and safety guards, lots of whom have lived in these suburbs for many years.”
Hendricks saved her final phrases for the premier:
“Premier Alan Winde ought to cease making empty excuses — the province ought to cease blaming poor and working-class folks for its personal failures and whether it is severe about combating spatial apartheid, it must urgently make the well-located land it owns out there for the event of inexpensive housing.” DM