The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) on Monday approached the Western Cape High Court and applied for an interdict against the City in an attempt to postpone any further changes to the mandate of the Good Hope Centre, which is currently being used as a film studio. While the venue has not been used by community-based organizations for almost a year, civil society organizations and members of the public were not happy with the move and have criticized the City for failing to engage with the public on this matter.
SACTWU spokesperson, Fachmy Abrahams, explained that the interdict is a means to ensure that the venue remains as is, until a review of the City Council’s decision is concluded.
“We advised the Council two months ago that we will be taking their decision to lease out the Good Hope Centre to private institutions and in this instance film companies, to the court.”
SACTWU is now requesting the court to set aside its previous decision and to allow the poorer communities of Cape Town to make use of the venue.
Abrahams said that a number of processors have occurred in the lead to the Council’s decision.
One of which was the full day workshop that was attended by organizations who regularly use the centre.
Abrahams said that as a result of the workshops, about six proposals were developed, all of which spoke to the idea of making the use of the Good Hope Centre economically viable, whilst retaining it as a community-based facility.
He affirmed that while none of the proposals were considered by the council, the City is completing upgrades to the venue, which were requested years ago, in light of the private company using the centre.
“If it was not economically viable why did the city barely a month before telling us we can’t use the centre, spend over a million rand of public money to install a sound system in the Good Hope Centre…and the city is spending R6.5 million to replace a lift,” he continued.
Abrahams said that the final decision relating to the use of the venue now rests with the courts.
“We are confident that courts will see it our way, we have prepared for this. And the City said from the start that there will be public participation – but to date, not a single public participation process has occurred.”
The City has 14 days to oppose the interdict, once the City files the papers opposing the interdict, the matter will be heard in court.