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Woodstock Hospital occupation delaying social housing in area - CoCT

The city said that it was now ready to proceed with social housing at the site, but first needed to conduct a survey of those occupying the building.

The old Woodstock Hospital in Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said that social housing in Woodstock would be delayed due to legal wrangling around the occupation of the old Woodstock Hospital.

The municipality wants to survey the occupants to determine their identities, monthly income and willingness to vacate the property.

However, an application for a court-ordered survey has been opposed by Ndifuna Ukwazi's Reclaim the City campaign and the matter has been postponed to next month.

READ: Woodstock Hospital occupants refuse to move until alternative housing provided

There are about 1,400 people living at the old Woodstock Hospital after people first occupied the site in March 2017.

The city said that it was now ready to proceed with social housing at the site, but first needed to conduct a survey of those occupying the building.

However, Reclaim the City's Bevil Lucas said that the municipality was well aware of the community living at Cissie Gool House.

"This is an organised community. It has previously engaged with the city around a particular audit in a particular way. No help of going to the court when already there's a history of all the parties that cooperated to conduct the survey."

He added that those living on the premises were anxious and concerned.

"There is quite large amounts of anxiety and concern it does have a traumatic impact on people. Some of them come from other areas where there's been displacement."

The city said that only lawful and constitutional means could be used to allocate the estimated 700 social housing units it intended building at the old Woodstock Hospital and development could not begin until the illegal occupants vacated.

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