Conceptual plans for District Six claimants released
Cape Town - After eight years, the conceptual plans for the housing of the remaining 954 District Six land claimants for restitution has been completed.
Verified and validated claimants who applied for restitution between 1995 and1998 were invited to view the plans at the Land Claims Lodgement Centre at the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development, in Mowbray.
The District 6 Reference Group (D6 RG) held 13 information and claimant endorsement sessions at which claimants approved or rejected the plans for the three-bedroom homes.
The group has been active since elected to represent the claimants in June 2012.
With much emphasis on the 108 families to return to the newly-built units in Hanover Street for Phase 3 of the redevelopment, the D6 RG said the remaining claimants should also be housed.
D6 RG chairperson Gerald Elliott said he believed all the claimants would be ready to move back by 2023 through simultaneous construction.
“We owe it to our people to give them certainty and clarity about their return to District Six. This has now culminated where we can tell the world that each person is going to get basically their own home, on their own plot, no sectional titles, no high-rise buildings.”
There are 1 062 verified claimants who applied from 1995 to 1998.
Elliot said facilitating a dignified return for claimants forcibly removed was at the crux of the D6 RG planning, so maintaining the semi-detached historical feature of the area was important.
The houses will be built on the slopes above Old Hanover Street.
D6 RG secretary Zubeida Samsodien said: “Because people are coming back not as nucleus families but as extended families, we have had to extend and look at this in terms of the flexibility so we can accommodate more. We put a lot of thought into the type of house and flexibility that is built in. The government has agreed to the suggestions we put on the table, and has even agreed to putting in an additional R43 million to make that possible.”
Department of Land Reform and Rural development, spokesperson Vuyani Nkasayi said the role of D6 RG was to represent the claimants and interact with the government on various issues relating to redevelopment of District Six.
The conceptual plan was approved by the department in November 2020.