The Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) took on the City of Cape Town on Wednesday to prevent the development of more than 1,000 ha of agricultural land responsible for producing 200,000 tons of vegetable products each year. The area is set to be converted into the Oakland City mixed-use development by land developer Wentzel Oaker.
The PHA has been campaigning against the proposal for more than a decade, after the city outlined its intentions to rezone the area in 2009. The PHA maintains that the land is the primary recharge zone for the Cape Flats aquifer and indirectly provides some 30,000 jobs.
Outside the court, a group of protesters gathered wearing orange to represent the 80% of the Western Cape's carrots that are grown in the area. Leader Nazeer Sonday, who brought the case to the city, told sowetanlive.co.za that should they lose the case, the effects would be felt far and wide: "The move scares me, because it will mean that a great deal of the land used for farming will become unusable. It is a major factor in the food supply for the area."