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Woodstock Hospital occupants head to court to oppose eviction bid

There are about 1,400 people living illegally in the building.

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

CAPE TOWN - Activist group Reclaim the City on Monday said it would head to court next month to oppose the City of Cape Town's application for a court-ordered survey of occupiers at the old Woodstock Hospital.

There are about 1,400 people living illegally in the building.

The organisation, represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, has asked the court for more time to respond to the city's application.

The City of Cape Town said it wanted to survey the occupants to determine their identities, monthly income and willingness to vacate the property.

Reclaim the City believes the order should not be granted and said it would be the first step in the city’s court application to evict people.

The organisation's Bevil Lucas said the city had not clarified how the information that they sought would be used and for what purposes.

He said people were occupying the hospital as they had nowhere else to go.

“The anxiety is very high and we as the leaders have tried to clarify to the people how the process will be working and will be dealing with every aspect of the case.”

The city plans to build about 700 social housing units at the hospital and said it was hoping people would move from the property voluntarily but if needed be, the city would pursue eviction proceedings.

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