Land restitution project in Milnerton is progressing well
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Cape Town - The Richmond Park Development in Milnerton, built as part of restitution, is proceeding well.
The project, headed by two female community leaders, Frances Liedeman and Yolanda Tittleton, has been in the works for the past 13 years, focused on creating employment opportunities for residents in Richmond Park, Atlantis, and surrounding areas, and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.
Liedeman, who is currently the Richmond Park Communal Property Association vice-secretary and director of Richmond Works, was also one of the founding members of the project. She officially lodged the land claim in 1995, along with fellow community member Lionel Clive Solomons.
She said, in 2008, when the community was finally awarded the land, the state followed with its transfer in 2015.
“Initially, the state offered the 401 families who made up the community R40 000 each for the land, but residents opted to take the land instead. Unfortunately, because majority of the community did not have the skills to make most of the land and maximise it to its potential, they decided to put a tender out, which saw Old Mutual Properties, Atterbury and Atlantis Partners being selected to develop the land under a business model approved by the state in 2008, after a competitive process,” said Liedman.
“Richmond Works is one of South Africa’s largest land-restitution projects. Its focus was to provide support and training for locals to set up their soft service businesses and, so far, we are working beautifully to achieve that. Rather than outsourcing the work, local companies will reap the benefits of the project,” said Liedman.
One of the businesses built, using a loan from the Trust, is an all-black female security company CCS, owned and run by Lionel Clive Solomon’s two daughters Charlene Goliath and Charlotte Adams.
To date, the Trust has funded 68 students. It has set up a community-run resource centre in Atlantis, which has facilitated more than 200 residents through skills training programmes, such as construction, forklift driving and adult education.
Richard Glass, from Atlantis Partners, said: “This is the incredible story of 401 families working with entrepreneurs and corporate South Africa to create authentic growth.”
Western Cape Regional Land Claims Commissioner’s Restitution Support chief director Wayne Alexander said: “Working together in the spirit of nation-building, women and youth empowerment, and community skill development, remain integral to the development plan.
“While we remember our past, let us embrace the present and grasp the opportunities it presents, to support our vibrant communities and future generations.”