Cape Town - The redevelopment plan for phase 5 of the restitution process in District Six has been made public.
The District Six restitution process aims to return the land to 954 families dispossessed as a result of the Group Areas Act of 1950.
The families were subsequently forcefully removed from the area between 1966 and 1978.
Over the last five years, the restitution process has been the subject of Constitutional and Land Court judgments in 2018 and 2019, which has prompted the government to expedite matters.
The plan for phase 5 prepared by Rennie Scurr Adendorff for Delta BEC on behalf of the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development reveals that 184 homes will be built on land 4km from Cape Town’s central business district.
The site earmarked for phase 5 is bounded between Constitution Street to the north and Justice Walk to the south.
The phase will see 184 houses built as part of the current restitution project that encompasses two other phases. Phase 4 in Hanover Street was concluded, and phase 6 is still under way.
Rennie Scurr Adendorff is managing the heritage processes on the proposed redevelopment of several lands in District Six, comprising Phases 4, 5 and 6.
The District Six Working Committee (D6WC) has called on authorities to fast-track the development, despite a court order.
After several delays in the restitution process, the committee advocated for the claimants’ cause and took the Department of Land Reform to the Land Claims Court in 2019.
According to Zahrah Nordien, co-chairperson of D6WC, there are still late audit claimants who need to return.
“Former deputy president David Mabuza once said that they would be completed by 2024 and then the late audit claimants will be seen to.
“We are now in 2024, so I can’t see if they really will be completed by 2025,” she said.
Phase 1 and 2 managed by the District Six Beneficiary Trust has taken place over the last five years.
Phase 3 was then initiated and run by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to build 46 terraced houses and 82 apartments.
Delta BEC was appointed as the principal consultant and project manager for phase 3 as well.
Meanwhile, phase 5 is to be developed under two or three-storey dwellings that will respect the historic street grid as far as possible.