Delays in returning District Six claimants during Phase 3 criticised
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Cape Town - The DA’s Western Cape spokesperson on Human Settlements, Matlhodi Maseko, has criticised delays in the return of District Six land claimants for phase 3 of the restitution process.
About 108 families were initially set to return in April. However, this was postponed because of delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Last month, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza announced that the return of the claimants would take place between June 24 and July 16.
“This is the third delay since April this year, with the latest ‘dog-ate-my-homework’ excuse being poor weather in Cape Town. Despite Minister Didiza’s announcement in mid-June that beneficiaries would move in later that month, they are still without clarity as to when they will receive keys to their homes,” said Maseko.
“I will write to Minister Didiza for an urgent update on the handover of homes at District Six. Whilst her department has missed the opportunity to brief the Western Cape legislature on several occasions, we trust the minister will take serious the gravity of the situation in light of the desperate need for restitution and housing.”
Department spokesperson Vuyani Nkasayi said: “The department is busy with its internal processes just to ensure we move the people of District Six back to their ancestral land. There is no delay.”
District 6 Working Committee spokesperson Karen Breytenbach called on the department and the Land Claims Commission to provide better clarity on the finalisation of Phase 3 restitution process.
“The delays in terms of the current phase of the District Six restitution process are indeed still indefinite. The 108 claimants who were promised new homes just off Hanover Street in April have had to endure many delays and bureaucratic frustrations this year. The whole process has been quite chaotic and untransparent,” said Breytenbach.
A list of the approved beneficiaries has not yet been made available, nor when the claimants would be able to move in, said Breytenbach.
“The last we’ve heard was that claimants may only be able to move in once the level 4 lockdown restrictions have been lifted. All of this uncertainty is emotionally distressing to the selected claimants, many of whom are in their 80s or 90s or even over 100, and it is also causing them and their families many practical difficulties.”