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Battle for Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap residents protesting against BLOK developers

The recent vehement protests in the Bo-Kaap has spelt out the deep-set opposition from local inhabitants of the City to DA policy.

Helen Zille, DA premier of the Western Cape has time and again made public announcements of the intent of urbanising the City of Cape  and surroundings.

A Bo-Kaap resident Qauwnieg Bailey told PEOPLE’S CHOICE: “Greedy land developers are destroying our rich heritage.

“All these high rise buildings are adding vualue to the area which results in high rates.

“People who can’t afford to pay their rates are forced to sell their homes.

“This is exactly what they did in District Six many years ago.

“The only difference is, back then, they were forcefully removed people.

“This time they are being smart smart about it by financially forcing you out.

“We don’t want any more unlawful city developments to take place in Bo-Kaap.”

Bailey further says: “We have a lot of European foreigners moving in here.

“They are invading our Muslim Culture.”

Osman Shaboodien, chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratespayers Association says: ” Our heritage status is being ignored by the City.

“The City is encouraging development at all cost.”

Shamiel Abbas, chairperson of the Woodstock Community Outreach Forum says: “Woodstock and Salt River are also suffering a similar gentrification fate as the Bo-Kaap Residents.”

Veteran community worker Tahir Levy says: “Gentrification means the big guys with the money is moving in.

“The plan is to move out the working class and the homeless.

“Woodstock and Salt River residents must take heed of what is happening in Bo-Kaap.

“Residents must stand firm and unit with the people in Bo-Kaap.”