DA bemoans delays in the resettlement of over 100 families in District Six
Cape Town - The DA in the Western Cape has criticised the numerous delays in the resettlement of over 100 families in District Six, calling it a major stumbling block for restitution and justice.
The 108 claimants, part of the phase 3 return, were informed by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development of delays to completion of the units, located at Hanover Street, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
DA Committee spokesperson on Human Settlements Matlhodi Maseko, said as chairperson of the Standing Committee on Human Settlements in the province, she will be visiting families affected and the housing site.
“While Covid-19 has created disruptions across every sector, claimants have been waiting for homes for more than 20 years before the pandemic. In 2019, the High Court gave the national government three years to complete restitution claims made between 1995 and 1998 which amounted to 975 claimants. There is no time to waste in supporting dignity for these residents, and currently there is no finalised list of beneficiaries nor is there a date of when the department envisions they will be able to hand over these units.”
The provincial Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said that delays to the redevelopment process was “inevitable” due to the pandemic.
“This department is a developer of phase 3 of District Six Redevelopment. In this phase, the department is building 108 housing units which will be handed over to claimants once they are completed.
“There were 24 housing units built in phase 1 and 115 for phase 2. As the world is currently experiencing the effect of Covid-19, the global pandemic affected the construction of District Six, as a result some delays were just inevitable.”
The District Six Working Committee through its lawyers, have requested further clarity on the layout design, funding sources, finalisation of a built environment team and the need to ensure equitable allocation of units.
In its quarterly progress report, the national department said the estimated project completion date is May 3.