PRESS STATEMENT: 03 November 2022
The City of Cape Town has repeatedly stated its commitment to using the exceptionally well-located Green Point Bowling Green as a site for affordable and mixed-income housing. Despite this, the City is once again leasing the site out for roughly R3,000 per year for exclusive uses that provide no benefit to the wider Cape Town population, or indeed the City itself. The ongoing approach to the Bowling Green and other well-located pieces of public land demonstrates a worrying lack of vision and urgency.
The resistance to well-located affordable housing will disadvantage both the people in Cape Town and the municipality itself:
If the City followed through on its commitment to develop the site as planned, it would not only provide desperately needed well-located affordable housing, it would generate additional municipal revenue in the form of rates, and improve the financial and environmental sustainability of the City, by increasing densification. The City is not only passing up a golden opportunity to build a fairer Cape Town, but it is also losing out on millions of Rands every year in potential rates revenue by delaying the development of the Bowling Green for mixed income housing, in light of the fiscal dent made by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhle Booi head of Organising for Ndifuna Ukwazi
Attorney Jonty Cogger of Ndifuna Ukwazi expanded on the Constitutional rights underpinning the organisations objection to the renewed lease:
Public land should be used for public benefit. In the context of our profound housing crises, it is immensely frustrating to see the City either renege on or once again delay its plans to develop the site into affordable and mixed-income housing. The City spent a considerable amount of money getting consultants to develop plans for the site to be developed for mixed-use housing, and yet these plans have been gathering dust in a filing cabinet in the Civic Centre for several years now.
Jonty Cogger, attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi
If the City intends to lease out this land, it needs to follow through on its commitment and provide a clear and implementable plan for how the site will be inclusively developed as a matter of urgency.
To learn more about the City’s failure to redistribute public land and what is possible on this property, please read our Lease Report publication which demonstrates how the land could be inclusively developed and how the City’s current approach is socially, economically and environmentally unsustainable.
Please find our objections and annexures which demonstrate the City’s public commitments to develop the site as a mixed-income development including affordable housing, in 2018, 2019 and 2020 here [https://jmp.sh/lrzP34C0].
The Green Point Bowling Green is a separate erf to the Green Point Tennis Club. Currently the Green Point Bowling Green is leased to various sports clubs but for the most part is under-utilised. Objections to the Lease are Due on Monday 7 November 2022