It’s all-systems-go for the first phase of the redevelopment of District Six as claimants and Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thoko Didiza agreed on her plan for the area.
It’s all-systems-go for the first phase of the redevelopment of District Six as claimants and Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thoko Didiza agreed on her plan for the area.

District 6 claimants triumph as it's all systems go on R1.5bn redevelopment

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Feb 3, 2020

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Cape Town - It’s all-systems-go for the first phase of the redevelopment of District Six as claimants and Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thoko Didiza agreed on her plan for the area.

District Six Working Committee lawyer Nicki Van’t Riet said: “We received a plan of action on December 17 and we have gone through it with the legal team, consultants and experts.

"We have been trying to determine whether the plan is a viable and reasonable one and the conclusion we came to is that it actually is.

"We have, however, raised issues about the funding so we have addressed a letter to the minister that calls for the minister to determine who is going to be paying for this project.

"It’s a R1.5 billion project that's going to be rolled out over four years in seven phases.”

The submission comes after litigation brought by the District Six Working Committee against Didiza’s predecessor, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who agreed to provide a copy of the Framework Plan by February 2019 in a court order by consent handed down by Judge Jody Kollapen back in 2018.

However, after missing this deadline, the court issued a punitive costs order against the minister for her role in the District Six delays.

The Framework Plan is one of the most crucial plans in the District Six restitution case. It means that the State can be held to the budget and time frames provided, which will ultimately ensure that the redevelopment of the remaining dwellings for the 954 claimants who filed in 1998 is finalised in early 2020.

Once these claimants have their dwellings, 2014 to 2016 claimants, numbering around 1500, will be next on the State’s agenda.

The plan outlines 954 units that can be allocated to individual claimants. The proposed plan entails approximately 13ha of land and leaves 13.39ha available to accommodate high-density typologies to be used for other, future claimants. The department has made provision for over 6000 units in total.

In the plan submitted, which the Cape Argus has in its possession, the department stated that the preferred unit typology compromises a double storey row or semi-detached house with a double-pitched roof, laid out along relatively narrow, enclosed streets to create an urban development.

The plan also provides time frames. There are seven phases that run concurrently which run from 2020 to 2024. The planning and design will take place in April this year and construction will kick off in November.

District Six Working Committee chairperson Shahied Ajam said: “The journey has been arduous. There has been a lot of pain and trauma.

“The court case has brought some closure. It’s a plan we can work with. We (the people) agree with it and so does the legal team.

“We need the commitment of our claimants, we will not bring the old District Six back but we will bring it back spiritually.”

The City has been in engagement with the department on the redevelopment of District Six.

Marianne Nieuwoudt, Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said: “We have positive engagements with Minister Didiza and Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille. 

“We have 14ha of land in District Six that belongs to the City and we want to make District Six the icon of the City. The area has the potential to bring in more investment than Constantia.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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