Date: 1 June 2016
Dear Premier Zille,
We, as the cluster of churches in Sea Point object to the sale of Tafelberg Remedial School and Wynard Mansions (formerly homes for working class people) by Premier Helen Zille and MEC Donald Grant for the following reasons:
We stand in support of the campaign–Reclaim the City. It would be noble and rational for the Western Cape Government to stop the sale of the Tafelberg site and use that piece of land for affordable housing for the working class families. Well-located state land should be used to promote and protect the right to access affordable housing for those in need. Property prices and the interest of the rich alone should not be allowed to deepen the divide people of different races, backgrounds, and creeds.
Sea Point should not be a place only for the wealthy but should be integrated. Sea Point should not be allowed to be dominated by one race but should reflect the diversity of our country South Africa. Sea Point should be a place where diversity exists harmoniously.
Many of our congregants travel from far to come and work here in Sea Point. Many a time we hear our congregants narrating stories of how early they wake up daily to come to Sea Point to work and how late they return home. Our congregants come to work here in Sea Point, but do not have the right to enjoy, as residents, the excellent public amenities and public services (schools, hospitals, swimming pools, parks, and libraries) and also the beautiful view of the ocean.
A good number of our congregants who stay in Sea Point have admitted to staying in meagre accommodation in basements, storage units, and tiny ‘domestic quarters’ here in Sea Point. How can this be acceptable? This is troubling. People, regardless of their occupations, need decent and dignified affordable housing.
On this premise, we state boldly that public land must be used for the greater good of the community, to uplift those among us that need to be uplifted. Therefore we ask Premier Helen Zille to make provision for affordable housing on the Tafelberg site in Sea Point.