Earlier this week, advocacy groups including members of Reclaim the City, Social Justice Coalition and UniteBehind erected shacks as part of a symbolic protest to reclaim Site B on the Foreshore.
General secretary of the Social Justice Coalition Axolile Notywala said the protest follows allegations that the City of Cape Town allegedly sold off the land for less than the actual value, resulting in a loss of R140 million of public money due to an alleged botched auction.
“The protest we had was to highlight issues such as land and the conditions people live in. Site B is a piece of land that the City auctioned to Growthpoint, which is a big company with many properties,” he said.
The City gave notice in local newspapers of an application by Growthpoint Properties Limited to develop Site B – a 3 932m2 piece of prime land on the Foreshore.
Notywala said they were made aware that Growthpoint plans to develop a skyscraper that “aims to be a world-class, timeless, innovative, sustainable building, which will serve to inspire future buildings”.
“One of the things we tried to hightlight during the protest is in the City and many other places, land is seen as a commodity and economic good, instead of a social good in a city that is in a housing crisis,” he said.
In a statement issued by Reclaim the City, Social Justice Coalition, #UniteBehind Coalition, they said that public land should be used to cater to the poor and working class.
“Public land should never be sold in a housing crisis. And if it is, then the money should be used for basic services or affordable housing for poor and working-class people,” the statement read.
The City previously announced that a forensic investigation into an alleged botched auction of a prime piece of land in Green Point was under way.