Citizen Reporter
Reporter
3 minute read
21 Mar 2019
1:23 pm

WATCH: Activists occupy Rondebosch Golf Course

Citizen Reporter

The Rondebosch Golf Club pays the City of Cape Town only R1,000 a month for the use of 450,000 square metres of well-situated land.

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Reclaim the City has taken over Rondebosch Golf Course to demand that the City of Cape Town redistribute public land for affordable housing. It said Rondebosch Golf Course was as big as 45 soccer fields and could house thousands of families, but instead, was being leased to a private club for R1,000 a year, where membership costs R15,750 a year.

“We are sending a message to all golf clubs, to the City of Cape Town, to project developers that we want the access of our land to be made available to them. We want our land to be used for housing. We are politely reminding government that when these things happen, they leave us with no choice when our land is being available to the white and rich. They leave us with no choice but to take extreme measures, which sometimes include occupying land for the purposes of living,” said RTC.

While over half a million Capetonians live in informal settlements, the Rondebosch Golf Club pays the City of Cape Town only R1,000 a month for the use of 450,000 square metres of well-situated land, reported GroundUp.

With a full membership costing R15,750 a year, and fees of about R150 to play a round in off-peak times, the golf course is inaccessible to the vast majority of residents, including those who live around it.

The golf club’s lease with the City is contained in a new report on City-owned land by civil society organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi, which also states that some of the best land in the city “is being used as a dog play park” for the @frits Pet Hotel and Daycare Centre, described as the largest of its kind in the world.

The report, City Leases: Cape Town’s Failure to Redistribute Land, proposes a “radical new deal” for housing on 24 areas of City-owned land, including golf courses, bowling greens, country clubs, and parking lots. These range across the breadth of the City, from Camps Bay to Strand to Fish Hoek. Detailed proposals are provided for five of them:

  • Rondebosch Golf Club
  • Buitengracht corridor
  • Harrington Square
  • Green Point Bowling Green
  • Fish Hoek Bowling Green

The Rondebosch golf course is the largest area. Two-thirds of the golf course is above the 100-year floodline, and Ndifuna Ukwazi calculates the land could offer 183,360 square metres of built space for a mainly residential development that includes communal space, offices, shops, schools, and social amenities.

Depending on the mix of social and market related housing, about 2,500 residential units could be built there, says the report. These would include single stands and mid-to-high-density apartment blocks as a mixture of market-related, social and GAP homes, set in green space along the Black River. (GAP housing is subsidised by the state for people earning R3,500 to R15,000 per month.)

The authors — Nick Budlender, Julian Sendin, and Jared Rossouw — calculated scenarios for the Rondebosch golf course in which residential units are built according to a 40% market-related and 60% social housing split (including 20% for GAP housing); a 50-50 split between market and social housing; and a 60-40 split.

The square meterage of individual units in the calculations ranges from 50m² for a market bachelor flat and 30m² bachelor for social housing, while a two-bedroom flat built for the market would be 70m² and one built for social housing would be 45m², which is the average size of an RDP house.

There could also be 116 free-standing homes on 400m² each, and 454 two-bedroom GAP houses of 55m², all set within public and semi-private green space with a promenade along the Black River providing direct pedestrian access to Mowbray.

The 30 separate blocks could each be owned through sectional title schemes and, ideally, would each contain a mix of social and market housing rather than economic differences being divided into separate blocks.

(Background reporting by GroundUP)

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