Cape protesters begin building homes on Green Point bowling green

According to Reclaim the City, Green Point Bowling Green is bigger than two soccer fields.
According to Reclaim the City, Green Point Bowling Green is bigger than two soccer fields.
Image: Reclaim the City

Reclaim the City activists on Wednesday staged a protest at the Green Point Bowling Green in Cape Town in a demand for the property to be used for affordable housing.

"We are digging the foundations and laying the bricks for new homes for the workers who keep the city in business," Reclaim the City said.

According to the organisation, Green Point Bowling Green is bigger than two soccer fields. The property includes bowling greens, vacant fenced-off land and two clubhouses.

"Like in other cities throughout the world, it is the working class that has been forced to live in the outskirts and in inhumane conditions. It is through our labour that the City of Cape Town was built, and yet there is still no place for us," the group said in a statement.

In the report, City Leases: Cape Town's Failure to Redistribute Land, released in March this year,  it proposed a "radical new deal" for housing on 24 areas of the city-owned land. This included bowling greens, golf courses, country clubs and parking lots.

Reclaim the City had also staged a protest at the upscale Rondebosch Golf Course a month ago.

The golf course, Harrington Square, Fish Hoek Bowling Green, Buitengracht corridor and Green Point Bowling Green had detailed proposals in the report.

According to the authors of the report - Nick Budlender, Julian Sendin and Jared Rossouw - there were no constraints to developing on Green Point Bowling Green.

"It is flat, large, well-located, and clearly underused, they said. A site of this size and in this location has good potential for cross-subsidisation."

The report further stated that the bowling green was situated on MyCiti and taxi routes, close to jobs, schools and public amenities.

"Affordable housing is desperately needed and the Green Point Bowling Green provides an excellent opportunity."

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson had previously publicly announced that this land would be redeveloped for social housing.

Reclaim the City said they held Neilson accountable for his "commitments made a year ago".

"He must do what he promised. Our constitution says that the state must use land, including its land for redress, transformation and addressing inequality.

"The city has failed to use its land to address this housing crisis. Promises have been made on several parcels of land in this city, and yet, not one brick as been laid. Promises do not make homes."

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