Provincial Department of Human Settlements and National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, are both refraining from taking the responsibility of District Six. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency
Cape Town - The provincial standing committee on human settlements is sticking by its version of what transpired between itself and the Department of Rural Development when the national department said it would transfer responsibility for District Six to the province.

It went ahead and adopted its minutes from its previous meeting with the department last month.

These minutes acknowledged the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s commitment to transferring Phase 3 of District Six’s human settlement construction mandate to the provincial Department of Human Settlements.

“It is unfortunate that the ANC remains indifferent to the people of District Six as it did not support the motion to adopt these minutes.

“The ANC’s objection to this motion shows the party’s true colours as putting its own political interests before the rights of the District Six land claimants,” chairperson of the standing committee Matlhodi Maseko said.

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.

A day later, the department denied such plans existed.

Maseko has requested that the minister avails herself for the next meeting, scheduled to take place later this month.

“The minister has so far failed to attend the past three standing committees, and I trust that she will finally come to terms with her duty, as outlined by the Constitution, to deliver to the people of District Six in our province.

“It is evident that this is a mandate the minister continues to grapple with while the lives of our residents hang worryingly in the balance,” she said.

ANC spokesperson Yonela Diko said: “At least 10% of the houses have been built and the rest have been stalled because of new claimants disputing the original list.

“Since then, there have been four groupings all claiming to be the rightful claimants. This has resulted in court battles and long delays.”

Spokesperson for the department Phuti Mabelebele said: “The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana Mashabane still affirms her committment to resolve the issues confronting the district six community by following due process within the stipulated rules high level delegation of the department is attending to the matter.”