The City-owned open space portion of erf 2187 in Green Point could be used for sporting purposes for at least the next 10 years.
This as Sub-council 16 unanimously supported the proposed new lease of the City land which is currently leased to the Glen Green Point Sports and Recreational Club and the Western Cape Bridge Union.
The initial application proposed a lease of two years and 11 months at a rental of R1 058 a year.
However, Sub-council 16 recommended that the lease be a “standard one” enduring up to 10 years with a cancellation clause.
The City’s Property Management Department entered into leases with both tenants in 2016. These expired in April last year and they were both given short-term leases to ensure that they could manage the property to the City’s satisfaction.
Sub-council heard that both applicants had been good tenants over the past three years and when the City called for alternative proposals to the proposed leases, there were no responses.
The site in question has been at the centre of a long battle between the City and affordable housing activist groups, Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City. In May last year, hundreds of Reclaim the City members gathered at the Green Point Bowling Green demanding answers from the City of Cape Town regarding their plans for the space. They dug trenches for foundations, calling on the City to “keep its promises and build affordable housing” on the site (“Activists occupy bowling green,” Atlantic Sun, May 9, 2019).
Both these organisations objected to the lease application, highlighting the need for affordable housing in the inner city and the surrounds, with Reclaim the City stating: “The City understands the impact of the housing crisis on residents like us. Despite commitments made to develop affordable housing in the inner city and surrounds, no projects have broken ground. Nearly 25 years after the end of apartheid, not one new home has been built.
“We and every resident expects the City to be prioritising affordable housing and the redistribution of public land. We cannot tolerate delays or any attempts to block developments. As it stands our members have been forced to occupy public buildings to avoid displacement.”
When Ndifuna Ukwazi inquired about the plans to develop the site the City responded that “statutory processes” were being followed.
While the City’s property management department had initially suggested a two year and 11 month lease, further inputs at the sub-council meeting, among them from Ward 115 councillor Dave Bryant and his counterpart in Ward 77, Brandon Golding, resulted in the decision to grant a 10-year lease.
“The impact on these clubs is that they won’t get investment and sponsorships quite often if there’s no lease in place,” Mr Golding said.
While the sub-council emphasised its support for affordable housing in the inner city, the meeting unanimously supported the proposal and recommended a standard lease of up to 10 years with a cancellation clause. “We don’t want to keep the sports organisation in limbo by renewing the lease every two years. This is purely for administrative purposes “said Mr Bryant.