A view of the city from Constitution Street in District Six. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Mayor Dan Plato has thrown hints that the City of Cape Town is ready to take control of District Six and offer assistance where needed. Plato was speaking at a special commemoration event at the Castle of Good Hope on Monday. 

“As the mayor, there’s only one thing that I want. I want to see the houses built that’s all I want. I don’t want to see anyone die before going back home. The City is ready to take the lead and willing to assist District Six,” Plato said.

Today, Monday marks the anniversary when District Six was declared a "whites-only" area. 

More than 500 dignitaries from all tiers of government, business, the judiciary, and civil society are expected to attend the event, to meet 300 of the current 3 500 restitution claimants face to face.

They are expected to discuss their return and to rebuild the neighbourhood in the next three years. 

Plato's hints come just a month after the Provincial Government said that it vows to have the mandate of District Six transferred.

Chairperson of the District Six working committee Shahied Ajam said: “We will never be able to go back to district six if we don’t protect it. We will create empowerment and will create opportunities for all the residents of District Six.”

The event follows a recent court victory in the Western Cape High Court by the Working Committee and its 3500 claimants, to compel the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to produce a viable and sustainable development plan for District Six. 

They are expected back in court on 26 February 2019. Construction is intended to be completed in three years. 

The lawyer for the working committee Nicki Van’t Riet said that what happened in District Six remains one of the biggest injustices in our country, “People have asked us questions over the last few months as to why we decided to take on this case and they say negative things like its so complicated. We are committed to standing up for human rights and secure justice without any delay,” she said.


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