District Six land claimants who were supposed to move back in April face another stumbling block. These claimants applied for restitution between 1995 and 1998. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
District Six land claimants who were supposed to move back in April face another stumbling block. These claimants applied for restitution between 1995 and 1998. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Blow for District Six land claimants meant to return this month

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - District Six land claimants set to return at the end of this month, have been informed of yet another setback in their quest for restitution.

About 108 families were preparing to return to the newly built housing units in Hanover Street, earmarked for claimants who applied for restitution from 1995-1998.

This is the second delay following last month’s announcement of a special government committee created to vet those returning.

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said the delay in the handover of Phase 3 is currently in the process of being resolved.

“The completion of snagging procedures for the various buildings and services has taken the contractor longer to complete than initially anticipated.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through revised site health and safety protocols, social distancing and limits on the number of people allowed on site, has had an effect on productivity on site.

“The department is also working with the City to complete the final commissioning of municipal services, including water and electricity connections to the 108 individual units.”

District Six Working Committee spokesperson Karen Breytenbach said the department would be issuing a formal statement soon, which they will be formally responding to.

“But in terms of Phase 3, the 108 claimants moving back and that being postponed from April to May, we’ve been very concerned about the long delays in terms... it’s taken years to get to this point.”

However, she said, the delay would mean the elderly, sick and vulnerable would no longer have to move into their units during the month of Ramadaan, when some would be fasting.

“We don’t have final clarity yet from the department on the actual return date, whether it is really going to be end of May or later. We also don’t have the final list from the government on who has been selected to be the 108 returnees, so we are awaiting some clarity on that. We have been asking, and we have been told we will receive the list as soon as it is available.”

Breytenbach said two claimants will be reaching and surpassing 100 years old, with many others in their late 80s.

Cape Argus

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