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WC govt has no obligation to deliver inner-city social housing, court hears

Housing activists challenged the provincial government’s decision to sell the Tafelberg property to a private buyer.

A view of the Cape Town CBD. Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government on Wednesday said it had no obligation to deliver social housing in the inner-city.

Housing activists challenged the provincial government’s decision to sell the Tafelberg property to a private buyer. They said the property should have been used to provide affordable housing.

The provincial government sold the Sea Point property to the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School for R135 million about four years ago. Wednesday marked the third day that the case was being heard in the Western Cape High Court.

Ndifuna Ukwazi's lead attorney on the case, Mandisa Shandu, said although all parties agreed that social housing was important, the counsel representing the province said it was a difficult ask.

“Arguments from the province’s counsel were that what we’re calling for, it’s something difficult in relation to the funding constraints for social housing. We initially made suggestions about how this can be overcome as well as the national minister to coordinate the operation,” Shandu said.

The province also revealed that no restructuring zones were declared in Cape Town. Despite that, a number of social housing projects proceeded.