The department was expected to brief the standing committee on progress its made on the phase 3 development in District Six. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency
Cape Town - The District Six saga has taken another turn after the Department of Rural Development decided not to attend a hearing in the provincial standing committee on human settlements.

The department also sent a letter saying it was changing the delegation that would represent it in future.

It would not engage any further on District Six as the matter was currently in court, the department said.

“We received this letter from the department, so the next step will be consulting with our legal team to find out how we can work through this.

“We are unsure how long this case will be going on for, and what we want to know is what happens to that phase 3 development,” said committee chairperson Matlhodi Maseko.

The department was expected to brief the standing committee on progress its made on the phase 3 development in District Six.

The committee hit a snag after the department was a no-show. The letter stated: “The department would unfortunately have to decline the invitation so as to allow the court process to unfold without any possible prejudice to the outcomes of the court proceedings,” said acting director-general of the department, Rendani Sadiki.

Maseko said: “As a chairperson, I don’t want to take the legal route.

“We want to get answers for the community, we want to know what the statues will be and where it will be going.”

Yesterday, the Cape Argus reported that November 26 had been set as the date for the matter to be heard in the Western Cape High Court, where the District Six working committee and Department of Rural Development would be going head to head.

The committee filed a court application against the department’s failure to provide restitution to District Six claimants since 1998.

Last month, the standing committee said an agreement was reached between the provincial standing committee on human settlements and the Department of Rural Development to transfer the budget for District Six to the provincial Department of Human Settlements.

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Cape Argus