25 Pieces of land owned by gov

Photo: GroundUp

25 Pieces of land owned by government that could be great for social housing

Land expropriation without compensation is a hot topic right now, but what about social housing in the inner city and all the land in the hands of government – at all levels?

25 Pieces of land owned by gov

Photo: GroundUp

If you live in Cape Town, you’ve probably heard about Reclaim the City.

They do amazing work fighting for housing dignity for poor and working-class people – and raising awareness about the injustice of evictions happening across Cape Town.

Their mandate is simple: Resist unjust evictions. Disrupt property power. Occupy public buildings. Stop the sale of public land. Build affordable housing. Desegregate the city.

And while land reform is a hot topic at the moment after parliament voted in support of land expropriation without compensation this week, there’s plenty of public land sitting dormant across Cape Town – all which could be used for social housing.

In a post on Facebook, Reclaim the City listed 25 such sites which they say are owned by government – at all levels – and which are not being used for social houing.

In the post, Reclaim the City wrote:

Expropriation without compensation? Let’s do it, but none of them are serious about land reform….cause right now ALL three spheres of government are sitting on enough public land to resolve our housing crisis in Cape Town. Here are 25 parcels of land waiting to be unlocked (out of thousands). What exactly is the problem?

Here are those buildings – the captions and pictures are all taken from Reclaim the City’s Facebook post. Read the original post here.

30 Chester, Walmer Estate

Province owns 30 Chester Road in Walmer Estate. Nothing happening.

 33 Palmyra Road

City of Cape Town owns 33 Palmyra Road. Good land in the Southern Suburbs

104 Upper Darling Street

National Public Works owns this derelict building at 104 Upper darling street.


Province owns this huge building on Alfred Street next to the Waterfront. It’s empty and could be used for housing.


National SOEs are sitting on the best land at Culemborg which could house thousands.


National owns Erf81 in Tamboerskloof. Best land in the city with great views could house hundreds of poor and working-class people and still have place for the Sunday market and existing communities.


National sits on Fort Wynyard at the Waterfront. What a joke.


Province owns government garage in Gardens. It houses cars not people.They are relocating the garage to the mainland and plan to sell the land to the private sector for cash.

Unused bowling greens

The City of Cape Town owns these unused bowling greens. Public land has been captured by private associations for mostly wealthy people. Business as usual.

Harrington Square

The City owns Harrington Square. Why are car parks more important than people?

Heritage Square

The City owns Heritage Square. There is space for a public square and hundreds of affordable housing apartments.

Molteno Dam

The City owns land all around the Molteno Dam.

Moray Place

The Province is sitting on Moray Place.

Car Park

This land is owned by Province and is being used as a car park for an Italian restaurant. It’s next to Leeuwenhof where Helen Zille lives. Could house a whole apartment block of social housing.


Province Owns Porter Reform Estate in Constantia. The best land in the city. Empty and not for us.

Prestwich Labs

Province owns Prestwich Soils Lab in the Foreshore. Waste of space.

Golf courses

The City owns two golf courses where we should be housing thousands. Close to transport and good schools and hospitals. Why should a couple of hundred wealthy people benefit from this land?

Spencer Road

The City owns Spencer Road clinic in Woodstock. Empty at the back.

Sea Point

Province tried to sell the last available land in Sea Point to wealthy people instead of using it for housing. Not gonna happen.

Top Yard

Province owns Top Yard in Gardens. They are stripping this later this year and it will go on the market for cash. We’ll be watching.

Upper Orange Street


Province owns a sports field on Upper Orange. Could bring hundreds of families back into the city.

Several military bases

National owns Wingfield military base. It’s huge. It also National owns Wynberg military base and Ysterplaat military base. National also owns Youngsfield military base. Another well located and unused piece of public land.