22 March 2019

South Africa: Activists Occupy Rondebosch Golf Club, Celebrate 'Reclaim the Land Day'


Cape Town activist group Reclaim the City peacefully occupied the Rondebosch Golf Club on 21 March to highlight issues with land distribution. Residents from Khayelitsha, Philippi and other informal settlements gathered together to celebrate Human Rights Day on a piece of land they say is inaccessible to them.

More than 350 activists and landless people occupied the Rondebosch Golf Course in Cape Town on Thursday, calling for the club to be converted into social housing. The occupation, which saw young children and 80-year-old activists alike singing and dancing on the vibrant green course, was initiated by Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi. The sister organisations have petitioned for the last few years for vacant and underutilised public land in the inner city to be converted into affordable housing for poor and working-class people.

On Thursday morning activists entered the Golf Club through a "back entrance", according to Ndifuna Ukwazi videographer Zacharia Mashele. General Manager of Rondebosch Golf Club, Don Ball, confirmed to Daily Maverick that the club had no knowledge of the occupation until staff "got wind that people were arriving on buses and trying to get in".

Despite the surreptitious entrance, the protest remained peaceful throughout the day. Many...

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