PRESS STATEMENT 17 November 2023
Today, the City of Cape Town informed the families residing at city-owned rental housing on Maynard Street, Gardens that it will no longer be proceeding with the looming auction of their homes on 23 November 2023. This comes after a public out-cry and concern for dwindling public housing in the inner city.
Tamara-Kay McLachlan and her family have been living on Maynard Street for the last 37 years, but last month the City informed her that the property will soon be auctioned off to the private sector.
It is crucial not to underestimate the significance of public housing. A home is more than a financial commodity; it is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, housing in Cape Town is predominantly treated as a financial asset rather than a societal good, especially in well-located areas. This perspective restricts access to a privileged minority, exacerbating wealth inequality and spatial segregation in the city.
Beyond being a mere shelter, well-located public housing serves as a catalyst for positive transformation. The sale of well-located public housing would represent a considerable loss, jeopardising the preservation of inclusivity in an inner city that is already exclusive and unaffordable.
According to Dr. Jonty Cogger, attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi:
“We all need good news. As a housing activist organisation, we are often approached by members of the public in distressing circumstances and in urgent need of our assistance. It is wonderful to hear that the City has called off the auction and we look forward to more fruitful engagement with the City to ensure that it preserves as much public housing as possible.”
According to McLachlan a resident at Maynard Street:
“While I am very happy that the auction has been called off, I am still confused about why they would want to sell our home after so many decades. I am also still very concerned about our future and whether the City is committed to public housing.”
A screenshot of the house from Property24.com before the post was taken down: