Cape – A group calling themselves the Queer Radical Feminist Activist Collective, who are occupying a luxury holiday home in Camps Bay as a ’’safe space for queer individuals’’, have until tomorrow to vacate the premises.
They were intending to stay at the luxury home – which has six rooms, a pool and a jacuzzi – for two to three months to highlight land and housing issues, but the TurnKey365 Property Management Group has requested the group of seven people to vacate the premises on Thursday.
They had initially booked the Airbnb for a three-night stay. The group of seven had moved in on Friday afternoon and subsequently informed the owners that they would be occupying it without paying as of Monday.
TurnKey365 Property Management Group said in a statement on Tuesday: “The guise under which the guests secured the booking has not only been dishonest, but their ‘indefinite’ occupancy and refusal to allow staff onto the property has led to many staff unable to perform their duties resulting in a further compromise on their livelihoods and ability to support their families.
“’In addition, much needed future bookings are being compromised, resulting in a further setback for a small company already suffering and attempting to recover from the throes of Covid-19.”
Turnkey365 Property Management said in order to protect staff and their families, they had requested the group to vacate the property by 5pm on Thursday.
Activist Kelly-Eve Koopman, 30, said they started planning for this action about two to three months ago. They had hoped the owners would support their move to create a space to be used for communal care, healing and the arts.
“Our action is part of a global movement of occupiers who do not have homes, particularly those who are close to home that are landless, cannot afford their rent or face violence in their place of residence,” Koopman said in a statement on Monday.
“We are occupying in protest of the lack of safe space for queer people, women and children in a country with disgusting rates of gender-based violence.
“We invite everyone into transgressive and peaceful acts of solidarity with those who cannot pay rent, cannot afford to eat, those who live at the threat of violence.”
In response to a Facebook comment on their occupation – “YASSSS! That’s it!! Scare more wealthy people, their businesses and their skills out of the country! The jobs they create, the tax they pay and the local businesses they support have no place in SA anyway!” – Koopman said: “I encourage the white allies on my timeline to intervene here as I don’t have the capacity to engage with white neo-liberalism this morning.“
The group had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publishing.