District Six claimants reassured that they will be brought home
On Saturday, claimants gathered at the Castle of Good Hope to mark the 54th anniversary of the declaration of the area as a white area. The event was hosted by the District Six Working Committee and attended by a number of officials.
Mayor Dan Plato said the City remained committed to supporting the restitution process and that he hoped restitution would move quickly for the hundreds of claimants waiting to return to the area.
“I look forward to seeing former residents receive the keys to their new homes. It is something I am sure will bring closure and joy in the hearts of the many who have fond memories of their time in District Six, and now have the opportunity to create new ones.”
Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, told claimants about plans to create a memorial wall in District Six with the fragments of the demolished houses that would be unearthed.
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille also attended the event and said the area was a stellar example of ubuntu and community “that was sadly destroyed by the horrible apartheid government”.
“In all cases, we must ensure that public land is used for public good and not for profit,” De Lille said.
De Lille said the Department of Public Works had processed the request to transfer 10 parcels of land to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for their expansion.
This would ensure that the university transferred other pieces of land they owned where housing had already been constructed for the District Six community.
“CPUT and the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform have already appointed a conveyancer for the transfer and registration of properties to their respective beneficiaries, including the state-owned properties to CPUT, to avoid any further delay,” she said.
Chairperson of the District Six working committee, Shahied Ajam, said: “We’ve won a landmark court case for development to go ahead. People have suffered for 54 years and people have waited for more than 20 years to move back to the area.”@MarvinCharles17