Residents continue to reclaim their city

Buhle Booi, of Equal Education, said the organisation supported the call for housing near the city centre.

Reclaim the City held a protest as the period for objections period regarding the Tafelberg School site came to a close last week.

The campaign has gathered more than 800 written submissions and over 3 700 petition signatures from residents across Cape Town who object to the proposed sale.

The petition and the written submissions will be handed to the provincial Department of Public Works for consideration by the premier and the provincial cabinet, the organisation said.

“Black, working class members of the Sea Point community have spoken clearly and bravely about the pain of life under current conditions in their neighbourhood. They have shared compelling stories of separation from their loved ones, strict curfews and restrictions on visitations. They have described the traumatic lack of freedom while living under constant threat of victimisation by employers and landlords. Their voices and experiences are the foundation of the campaign,” said Daneel Knoetze, head of communications at Ndifuna Ukwazi, which is running the Reclaim the City campaign.

At the protest Lukhanyo Madyibi, shared his story about being evicted from Sea Point. Mr Madyibi, who has been living in Nyanga since last year, said he had lived in Sea Point for a long time, he attended Sea Point High School and his daughter was born there.

However, he was evicted and had his belongings thrown on the road by his landlord last year. “I had to move out and look for alternative accommodation. My daughter is struggling because she has to wake up at 4.30am to be at school.

“We support what is happening here and it is not only about Tafelberg. We must continue and be strong. The land should be for the people.”

The move for mixed income housing in Sea Point was vital said Equal Education’s Buhle Booi. “We have students who live in townships and improvised areas. We feel that they should be brought closer to the areas that they go to school in.

“They have to leave their houses early in the morning and there is danger for them. They can be attacked by criminals on their way to school.”

Mr Booi called on local government to create an inclusive city for the working class. “We believe that it is important to address the injustices of the past.”

Associate director of Ndifuna Ukwazi, Zackie Achmat, said they were building a resistance movement. “If Premier Helen Zille fails to make this land available to the women, the gardeners, the security guards that work, our resistance will return in rebellion. We are not asking for Nkandla, we are asking for decent homes,” he said.

Elizabeth Gqoboka, who has been living in Sea Point for 22 years, said they wanted to stop the sale because they want to be able to have homes for their families. “We are sick and tired to be living in the backyards and to be living with the rats. In Sea Point it is a shame to be called a domestic worker but we are the people that have made Sea Point what it is today.

“We are here to stay and we have the right to affordable housing because we have been living here for so many years,” she said, adding that Sea Point was not only for rich people.

* On Friday June 10 law enforcement arrived at Ndifuna Ukwazi’s offices to fine organiser Ntombi Sambu R1 500 for “vandalising” the promenade last Sunday. “Ms Sambu had written to the City to ask for permission to create a temporary ‘mural’ on the promenade but got no response. Over 40 supporters chalked up the wall with images of an inclusive city and calls to #StopTheSale of Tafelberg and build affordable housing. Others wrote about life in Khayelitsha without access to decent sanitation or housing or safe streets,” Reclaim the City said in a statement released to the media.