Media Statement by ANC Study Group on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation on the Tafelberg High Court Judgement
2 August 2020
The African National Congress welcomes the High Court ruling that sets aside the sale of the site of the former Tafelberg Remedial School in Sea Point by the Western Cape Provincial Administration.
The piece of land, which is owned by the Provincial Administration, was previously earmarked for affordable housing and should have never been sold for short-term capital profits in the first place.
The growing frustrations of the people of Cape Town date as far back as 2016, when the City committed to publish a report into the Department of Public Works and Transport’s feasibility study looking into affordable housing on the Tafelberg property in Sea Point. Four years later and the residents had not had sight of such a report.
The absence of such a report, or the publication thereof, should it exist, is a blatant disregard for the will of the people and reinforces the DA-led province’s disinterest in ensuring integrated human settlements is realised for the people.
The judgement marks a landmark victory for the people of Cape Town and reaffirms the people’s position by ruling that the Provincial Administration, together with the City of Cape Town, have an obligation to use land to redress Apartheid spatial planning, a mandate they have failed to implement. The Court went further to order both the City and Provincial Administration to create a combined policy by May 2021 on measures they intend on taking to address their failed obligation to the people, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic.
The ANC welcomes this landmark ruling as it is a right step towards redressing the legacy of Apartheid spatial planning and a move towards transformation and responding to the housing needs of the people. In reiterating Minister Sisulu’s words:
"This will only be achieved if we have well-located land parcels and spheres of Government availing such state-owned land for human settlements development".
As the ANC, we intend to follow up closely on the matter and will ensure we exercise our mandate of enhanced oversight by holding the province accountable through mandating it to report to the Portfolio Committee of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation in the National Assembly on a regular basis on how they are implementing the Court ruling.
Issued by the ANC Study Group on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
Cde Robert Mashego