The City of Cape Town is planning to sell public land to private developers that should be used for essential policing services for the Khayelitsha community. On 24 March 2016 the City issued a municipal notice calling for public comments and/or objections on the proposed sale of a portion of erf 564 in Khayelitsha. The notice indicated that the City hopes to sell the land for the development of a shopping centre.
The SJC as an organisation along with residents of Khayelitsha have made 266 submissions objecting to the proposed sale of and future plan for erf 564.
Policing is a vital government service. Lingelethu West Police Station falls within erf 564 and provides essential services to the community. In 2014, the Lingelethu West Police Station was found by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry to have “poor parking facilities, no holding cells, no exhibit store, inadequate space for detectives, a temporary ‘park home’ for the victim friendly room, and no space for holding ‘parades’.” The Commission consequently recommended that SAPS take steps to improve the physical infrastructure of the Lingelethu West police station as a matter of urgency.
Rather than selling this land to private developers it should be made available to improve the capacity and ability of the Lingelethu West station to serve the Khayelitsha community and to do its work effectively.
The police station is situated in a corner of the erf, with roads bordering two of its boundaries. If the portion of erf 564 up for sale is sold, this would completely isolate the police station making expansion virtually impossible. The sale would make attempts at improving the police service in this area far more difficult. Quality of policing does not merely depend on the amount of land a police station occupies. However, when a station lacks the necessary space to operate at an optimal level this is obviously problematic.
The City has a responsibility to make use of its resources in a manner that enhances people’s living conditions and aligns with the principles of cooperative governance. We object to profit coming before human lives.
SJC’s organizational submission can be read here: http://www.sjc.org.za/posts/sjc-objects-to-irrational-sale-of-city-land-in-khayelitsha
For comment please contact:
Chumile Sali (Head of Safety & Justice Programme)
071 609 3236