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Plato: CoCT considering buying Woodstock Hospital from WC govt

The hospital has been occupied by homeless and evicted residents since 2017, who dubbed it Cissie Gool House.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato. Picture: @CityofCT/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said the municipality was considering buying the old Woodstock Hospital from provincial government.

The hospital has been occupied by homeless and evicted residents since 2017, who dubbed it Cissie Gool House.

On Tuesday, members of lobby group Reclaim the City and a group of occupants from the hospital gathered at the Civic Centre.

They wanted to hear from Plato what the municipality's plans were with the property, as they'd heard it was on the mayoral committee meeting agenda which took place yesterday. Occupants expressed their fear that they'd be evicted from the site.

Plato explained that the mayco only discussed the option of buying the property - there were no talks of evicting anyone.

"I said to Reclaim the City, their thing is they want land and housing tomorrow. I said that any decision to buy land was a process. Unfortunately, our processes are governed by a law of government, we cannot deviate from those processes. Because of the tough times, it will take anything between four and five years before you can go on site."

Ndifuna Ukwazi housing activist Buhle Booi said that although it was provincial government land it was still the city's responsibility to ensure the residents inside the hospital were accommodated.

"The decision they must make, the must make the decisions based on the people and children who live there so that they can be accommodated. We can't afford for people to be rendered homeless."