14 June 2016
Ndifuna Ukwazi Press Statement: City ratepayers support Reclaim the City and the campaign to #StopTheSale of Tafelberg
Four of the inner city’s most active ratepayers and residents’ association have thrown their weight behind the call to #StopTheSale of the Tafelberg site in Sea Point. These are the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (GPRRA); the City Bowl Ratepayers’ and Residents’ (CIBRA); the Upper Woodstock Residents Association (UWRA); and the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association (BOCRA). Their objections to the sale were included in 937 submissions gathered by Reclaim the City, with support from Ndifuna Ukwazi. These we delivered to the Western Cape Department of Public Works on 9 June. The ratepayers objections are attached to this email for perusal.
These associations all acknowledge that affordable housing development on public land in areas such as the inner city can be an effective tool to reverse the apartheid design of Cape Town.
Ndifuna Ukwazi welcomes these positive and well-considered inputs. Often, ratepayers’ associations stand accused of acting in the interests of a small group of property owners in their area. In this instance, these four groups have demonstrated that ratepayers’ can speak in support of the much wider interests of residents and workers in and around the inner city, and across the Cape Town metro as a whole.
In light of this inner city ratepayer support, it is disappointing that the Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ Association (SFB) remain a rogue voice against the campaign for affordable housing on the Tafelberg site. SFB deputy-chair David Polovin’s position that affordable housing development is not appropriate for the Tafelberg site has been called out for the structural racism which underpins it – a complaint currently sits with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for investigation.
Furthermore, Polovin has been exposed for not speaking on behalf of the wider Sea Point community or ratepayers. An open letter (attached) from Sea Point residents distancing themselves from Polovin and the SFB undersigned by 60 people – more people than were minuted as present at the SFB annual general meeting in 2015.
Yet, Polovin, quoted on behalf of the SFB, continues to oppose the campaign for Tafelberg to be retained as a public asset and developed for affordable housing. In a press report this month, he again expressed that position and peddled several untruths.
It is time for the SFB to join the common sense position of their counterparts among inner city ratepayers’ associations, and hundreds of other individuals and organisations across Cape Town. It must publicly distance itself from the position of its deputy-chairman David Polovin.
Hopolang Selebalo (Head: research, Ndifuna Ukwazi): 074 261 1672
For other queries:
Daneel Knoetze (Communications, Ndifuna Ukwazi): 073 535 8401