[imagesource: Rondebosch Golf Club / Twitter]
Back in February activists protested at the Rondebosch Golf Club, calling on the City of Cape Town to prioritise the land for the development of affordable housing.
To determine whether or not there was merit to the claim, experts from the Spatial Planning and Urban Design Department were sent in to conduct studies on the land to determine its viability for human occupation.
On October 29, the City made its final decision to renew the lease on the land, despite objections that it could be better utilised to house those in low-income brackets.
Per GroundUp, the following reasons informed the decision.
Experts found that vehicle access for public transport would pose a problem making it difficult for residents to travel.
More importantly, the area’s flood line makes development difficult with 23,72ha of the 45,99ha property below the one in the 50-year flood line.
“The golf course was designed to prevent the flooding of neighbouring properties,” the mayoral committee in-principle approval of the lease reads.
Environmentally speaking, the golf course is also home to trees, shrubs, and 75 different species of birds, and manages pollution in the adjacent Black River.
“Polluted water is pumped from the river and gravity-fed back to the golf course holding dam. The process filters the water before it is utilised on the golf course,” the City told GroundUp.
The decision was met with pushback from the activists that called for its redevelopment, including Ndifuna Ukwazi.
The organisation condemned the decision in a statement on Friday, claiming that at least two-thirds of the site can be used to develop affordable housing, according to a research report conducted last year.
Ndifuna Ukwazi said that the development could be done in “a sensitive way that would minimise the environmental impact of the development” and that a “water sensitive urban design approach” could be taken for developing affordable housing.
The report, taking into account the environmental constraints, says 2,500 housing units can still be developed on the site.
They also said that in every case that they have advocated for, the City has claimed constraints that would make development impractical.
“Cape Town has 24 golf courses, ten of which are on public land. And it’s not just golf courses, the City owns more than 87,000 pieces of land, but continues to lease out well-located public land for the exclusive use by a few at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Capetonians that desperately need housing,” Ndifuna Ukwazi said in its statement.
For now, the Rondebosch Golf Club lives to see another day.
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