Activists welcome golf course housing proposal

King David Mowbray Golf Course

Activists have welcomed a City proposal to use portions of the King David Mowbray Golf Course for social-housing site.

The proposal is part of the draft integrated spatial development framework (SDF) for the City’s Table Bay Planning District.

Page 136 of the document proposes a feasibility study for a mixed-use development, with 30% affordable housing or social housing, on portions of the golf course, outside the floodline.

The deadline for public comment was Sunday June 6. The draft document will now be reviewed before it’s submitted to council for approval.

Ndifuna Ukwazi researcher Robyn Park-Ross said: “We welcome this acknowledgement of what activists have been calling for since 2018 and call on the City to maximise the redistributive potential of this land.

“However, considering the City’s poor track record in urgently delivering on affordable housing commitments in well-located areas, we are concerned about the political will behind this commitment and the City’s ability to translate this intention swiftly into reality (as our housing crisis demands).”

It was also concerning, she said, that the City had indicated that only 30% of the mixed-use development would be for affordable or social housing.

“To preempt a study of what is feasible on the land with such a low portion of affordable housing is self-defeating,” she said.

Reclaim The City Woodstock chapter leader Karen Hendricks said: “We are hopeful that the City has decided to acknowledge this area as a social housing site and not just as a site for private developers. In the past, the City has prioritised the needs of the wealthy above the housing needs of the poor by failing to redistribute this type of land to develop low-cost housing in such a well-located area.”

Ms Hendricks said the housing should be affordable to ensure greater access for the poor.

“Poor workers across the city have to travel far distances to get to work, schools, hospitals and other amenities, and travelling is costly. Hence the City must look at the issue around affordable housing close to the city,” she said.

King David Mowbray Golf Club general manager Don Ball said: “We are not in a position to comment at this time, other than to confirm that, as an interested and affected party, we have submitted our comments to the City. The King David Mowbray Golf Club will continue to participate fully in the City’s processes pertaining to the draft SDF.”

Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said: “As part of the City’s human settlements strategy, all suitable City-owned land continues to be assessed, from golf courses to mixed-use areas, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for affordable housing opportunities.”