They want to put us in the bush – residents

Reclaim the City supporters staged a peaceful protest in response to a decision by provincial cabinet to continue with the sale of the former Tafelberg Remedial School site.

FILE: Reclaim the City staged a peaceful protest at the Woodstock Hospital on Monday, 27 March 2017. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Reclaim the City supporters have been staging a peaceful protest outside the former Woodstock Hospital, while at least five occupiers have moved into the building.

The protest is in response to a decision by provincial cabinet last week to continue with the sale of the former Tafelberg Remedial School site.

At least eight people have also moved into the former Helen Bowden Nurses Home across from the Somerset Hospital near the Waterfront.

The protesters say the city and provincial government are selling their inner city property for commercial gain and not doing enough to stop private property owners from doing the same in areas like Woodstock and Salt River.

A man at the protest said: “They want to put us in the bush where there are no hospitals for elderly people, no shops, there's no busses – nothing."

While a woman added: “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. They don't care what happens to the poor.”

Reclaim the City's Emile Engel says provincial government plans to build an office park on a quarter of the Woodstock Hospital site.

“What we should be doing is taking jobs to people, and bringing people to jobs. But this is the opposite.”

Members of movement say they will continue to protest for as long as it takes for firm commitments to be made to build affordable housing.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)