Dear Premier Zille,
I have walked around the boundaries of the Tafelberg school site. It is a wonderful location, with beautiful trees, especially at the southwestern corner. It could provide decent homes for many families now excluded from central Cape Town by apartheid spatial planning. It would be a real sign that Cape Town (and the DA city and provincial government) are willing to address the legacy of apartheid.
Not to take this opportunity would confirm the idea that Cape Town is a bastion of white privilege. It would be an injury to every Capetonian, not just to those seeking to make a life without impossible commuting times or slum conditions in the central city. It would brand the DA as a racist party and all of us as racists as well.
I learn online that the Phyllis Jowell Day School currently has 189 learners. It is impossible for me to believe that so small a school has need of a site of that extent. If the city sells the site to them, will it not simply be a way of enabling much of it to be sold for private use as soon as this becomes profitable? The idea that the money could be used to create more low-cost housing on the distant outskirts of Cape Town is a mockery of the hopes of the post-apartheid era. Cape Town should not use this bonanza to replicate and strengthen apartheid, but to provide poor working families with some kind of relief for it.
The Tafelberg site could recreate the possibilities lost when District Six was destroyed, although on a smaller scale. The National Party is remembered by much of Cape Town for its cruel destruction of District Six (and many other Group Areas removals). If the DA local and provincial government fails to grasp this opportunity, they will surely be remembered for continuing that poisonous legacy.
Dr. Andrew Nash