Reclaim the City wants Cape Town Mayor to revisit Cissie Gool House following Malusi Booi's removal

Reclaim The City, a social housing group, has welcomed the announcement of Malusi Booi being suspended as the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for Housing.

Booi was given the boot last week, following allegations of fraud and corruption.

‘’Cissie Gool House (CGH) have on many occasions invited MMC Malusi Booi to engage with our children, adults and elders to see how we lived, why we occupied, however, this received backlash and we were rather labelled ‘’criminals and ‘’queue jumpers.’’

PICTURE: Matthew Hirsch

According to the housing activist group, the City of Cape Town has made empty promises since 2019.

‘’In 2019, the City of Cape Town started a process with CGH residents to co-design the future of the occupation. This meant that they believed affordable housing could be developed at CGH in a way that included us as part of the solution, rather than seeing us an obstacle to be removed before affordable housing could be built. We worked with NGOs, City officials and City consultants to assess the structural issues of the buildings that we call home and started working on a alternative version for the future of CGH that included us,’’ said Bevil Lucas, CGH house leader.

‘’Later in 2019, the City changed its mind completely and decided to abandon the process that we had all committed to without providing us with a proper explanation.’’

‘’Despite a ground breaking ceremony in 2019 on one of the sites committed for affordable housing in Woodstock and Salt River, not a single social housing unit has been built in these areas. In fact, not a single affordable housing unit has been built in the inner city and surrounds since 1994. Empty promises, empty plots,’’ he added.

CGH approximately houses 900 people, after either being evicted or displaced, due to the unaffordability of living in an area.

‘’Everyday for the past 5 years, we have worked hard to transform, this abandoned and run-down building into a HOME for poor and working class people who struggle for dignified and affordable housing by tackling issues of hunger in the occupation and to support the elderly, single women and children on the site.’’

Reclaim The City has amongst others, called on Cape Town mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, to visit Cissie Gool House and relook into the co-design process; To recognise the role of civil society formations contributions to making it more inclusive; to speed up building well-located affordable housing.

Done By: Mitchum George