South Africa: Reclaim the City Say City of Cape Town Is Wrong to Blame Them for Its Own Failures to Provide Social Housing


On Sunday 8 November 2020, City of Cape Town Mayco member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, published an opinion piece in Daily Maverick blaming housing activists for hampering efforts to build social housing on sites occupied by social movement Reclaim the City.

In his recent Daily Maverick opinion piece, Booi maintained that the "Reclaim the City occupation campaign is one of the biggest obstacles to the building of social housing on well-located sites that are both suitable and viable".

In addition to shifting the blame, the City's response to our and other occupations across Cape Town displays a regrettable amnesia about the enduring legacy of landlessness, non-recognition of land and housing rights and tenure insecurity.

This is compounded by deepening inequality, an unaffordable housing market and no immediately available solutions to an ongoing crisis of evictions and displacement.

It is in this context that we, like thousands of others in the city, have had to make difficult choices to ensure some form of shelter for our families.

Booi mentions a "trendy learning event" in the "heady early days" of occupation. He may be referring to someone visiting our now well-known advice assembly - a gathering of tenants, activists...

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