MCA is a newly formed non-profit established to represent the broader Cape Town community in protecting and ensuring continued access for all to the public open space at Maiden’s Cove.
MCA supported the BOA applications but introduced a new voice. It also widened the grounds of the challenge and asked for a comprehensive remedy that would force the City of Cape Town to involve the public right from the beginning in a new process to decide how Maiden’s Cove should be used.
In a statement, MCA said their first court challenge was that the City has put the commercial cart before the constitutional and statutory horse.
“The constitution and various statutes impose a clear duty on it to deal with what has been kept open for 70 years as a protected coastal open space, as a public trust. The City had no legal authority to draw up a plan on its own initiative for the sale and lease of this protected public open space by the sea, and then have some public consultations on the details of the plan.”
The statement said the City was duty bound to draw in the public from the start when deciding how the land should be used. It said it was also legally obliged from the beginning to engage meaningfully with the various municipal and provincial statutory bodies created to protect heritage and the environment.
MCA said the scheme violated its legal duty to undo rather than further cement the profound racial spatial division of the city.
The statement read: “Instead of healing the divisions of the past and creating a more just and equal society, the development would favour affluent and overwhelmingly white people who already own most of the homes close to and overlooking the sea. Conversely, the majority of Capetonians who do not live in homes with beautiful gardens and lovely views will now have even less opportunity to exercise their right to enjoy the natural beauty of the peninsula.”