The much talked about and controversial sale of the Tafelberg Remedial School site has been put on halt due to the decision of the Western Cape High Court and is supported by the Reclaim the City movement. The Western Cape government was ordered to open a public participation process and await a provincial cabinet decision on whether or not the site should be sold.
Many deem the halt in the sale victorious for the poor working class as it is said that the land should be used for affordable housing rather than as another school.
Last week the Western Cape High Court directed the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works to publish a fresh notice for the proposed sale of the land within 10 days.
According to the Cape Times, mother-of-two, Adonisi, who was the first applicant in the matter, said, ‘To me it’s a huge victory as I have been staying for a long time in Sea Point. It’s also a big victory for other Sea Point residents. At least we can see we are getting somewhere. The government will now look at our request. We are hoping they are going to give us the right answers.”
Reclaim the City stated that the provincial government admitted it failed to comply with legal requirements in the sale of state land.
Working class South Africans now have the opportunity to participate in the hopes that affordable housing be built on the school site.
Helen Zille allegedly avoided commenting on why her government had declared the land surplus when the Human Settlements Department objected to the sale. In a recent newsletter from Zille, she explained that the provincial cabinet will review all submissions and decide whether to proceed with the sale or withdraw. Zille expressed that they had a responsibility to consider all the submissions and comments in order to carry out their responsibility of balancing the many competing priorities in society, within budget constraints.
We look forward to following this story this week and monitor the progress of the sale.