File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Let's have the courage to take back our land and occupy District Six

By Abdul Karriem Matthews Time of article published Aug 9, 2019

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My family was evicted from District Six when I was seven years old. The ANC government has done absolutely nothing to give back this land to its original inhabitants and their descendents. 

Many of our elders have died waiting for the return of their land and many will continue to die waiting in vain.

A few pressure groups have been set up to put pressure on the political authorities. Some groups have even gone to court. 

All these middle class ways of organising have resulted in no actual return of our land. Our elders will therefore keep dying while waiting in hope for their land.

Meanwhile, a huge section of District 6 is occupied by CPUT, Charlie's Bakery featured on DStv is built on occupied land and  Keizergracht Steet might be changed back to Hanover Street. 

The City of Cape Town wants to change a name but has done nothing to stop business owners from occupying our land and has done nothing to stop the gentrification of the Bo-Kaap or Woodstock. 

Yeah, that's right, the same City and DA you vote for in every single election is the same City and DA that gives our land to private property developers, businesses and rich white people.

How many individuals and businesses now own the land on District Six? Who are these people legally stealing our land. Can some clever researchers find out?

We will not get back District Six through the courts and the City and the DA will continue to gentrify the Bo-Kaap and District Six. 

Now we are living in a non-racial capitalist state so a few middle class and rich people of colour have made our land their homes and businesses, but it's clear that the majority of businesses and people moving into Bo Kaap and Woodstock are white including District Six.

District Six is occupied land. The only way to get back our land is to occupy it. Let's occupy District Six, all the original inhabitants and their descendants. 

However, do we possess the courage to take back our land? Do we have the leadership that will advocate for the occupation of our land in District Six? Or will we keep trusting that the useless ANC and DA will give back our land?

I am calling out the ANC as they have been ruling the country since 1994 and have not given back our land. I am calling out the DA as they are facilitating the selling off of our land and making the City increasingly white through the process of gentrification.

District Six is occupied land. Stop the gentrication of the Bo-Kaap and Woodstock.

Abdul Karriem Matthews is a member of the Bishop Lavis Action Community and a leader in the original Total Shutdown formation.

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