‘Appalling misdirection of priorities’

Terry Crawford-Browne, Royal Ascot

Cape Town is blighted by the FIFA “white elephant” because the city council buckled to pressure from the ANC and construction companies.

Although obviously not on the same scale as the stadium debacle, the proposal to spend R30 million to replace (not restore) the bridge to Woodbridge Island with a replica is testimony to the council’s appalling misdirection of priorities (“Big bucks needed for historic bridge,” Tabletalk November 30, 2017).

Militarists have dredged up a purported link to the 1899 – 1902 Anglo-Boer War in an attempt to justify the expenditure.

It is past time the council refocused its priorities. Tens of thousands of Milnerton-area residents are living in appalling circumstances in Dunoon.

There is also the vast redundant military base at Wingfield that is perfectly located to provide for social housing for workers in the factories of Montague Gardens.

Our much-lauded constitution includes the provision in section 25 (2) that land can be expropriated in the public interest.

The DA and ANC have both made a political football of Cape Town’s housing crisis, each blaming the other. There is no shortage of land, and there is no shortage of money, but there is a massive shortage of political will.

Reallocation of R30m for potential legal costs to expropriate Wingfield from the dysfunctional Department of Public Works would substantiate the city council’s otherwise hollow claim that it “cares for all.”