Reclaim the City and Ndifuna Ukwazi appeal to ConCourt while Mother City opens at Encounters Film Festival

For Immediate Release 20  June 2024

Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) and Reclaim the City (RTC) have filed for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the recent judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the Tafelberg Case. The sale of the Tafelberg property in 2015 triggered massive outcry and brought to the fore the debate on how public land is used and disposed of, especially in the context of more than a 365 000 housing backlog and continued segregation and inequality in Cape Town after apartheid. This is poignantly highlighted in the “Mother City” documentary, which opens at the Encounters Documentary Film Festival on 20 June 2024.

While the sale of the Tafelberg property was successfully set aside by the High Court in 2020, there are issues of great public importance and interest raised in the Tafelberg Case which still require clarification and determination by the Constitutional Court. This includes whether the Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town have failed in their constitutional and statutory obligations  to redress  spatial injustice in central Cape Town and deliver on the rights to equitable access to land and adequate housing.

The SCA set aside the High Court’s orders which found that the Province and the City had indeed failed in their obligation to redress spatial apartheid in central Cape Town and which required the Province and the City to report to the Court on its plan to remedy this.

NU’s application for leave to appeal points out, amongst other things, that the SCA mis-characterised the nature of the case. This is reflected in the SCA asking the wrong question of whether there is a right to social housing in a specific location instead of asking and interrogating, whether the Province and the City have taken reasonable measures to redress spatial apartheid in Central Cape Town.

The Province and City are opposing the application for leave to appeal.