District Six redevelopment plan submitted to land claims court
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Cape Town - The minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development has submitted a "detailed plan" on the redevelopment of District Six in the Western Cape to the land claims court, she said on Tuesday.
Minister Thoko Didiza submitted the plan for claims lodged between 1994 and 1998.
The department was taken to court by the District Six Working Committee (D6WC) and ordered to submit a "conceptual layout" detailing redevelopment for the area.
Didiza inherited the project with the new administration and was granted an extension by the court to familiarise herself with the matter.
She said on Tuesday that her department had submitted the conceptual layout, details on how the plan was to be funded, timeframes for implementation and the methodology to be applied in allocating the residential units to the claimants, in line with the court's orders.
"Engagements with interested parties have taken place including the minister meeting with the affected claimants on Saturday, December 14, 2019 and further engagements are envisaged. In addition, quarterly reports are to be submitted to court disclosing progress on the re-development plan," said the department in a statement.
Phase three of the re-development is currently underway, and is set to be completed in 2020.
There are 954 claimants, some of whom may still opt for financial compensation.
The commission on restitution of land rights received 2 760 claims for restitution by the cut-off date of December 1998. The claimants had been dispossessed of ownership and tenancy rights during the apartheid years.
The claims were processed and researched so that restoration and compensation could be offered to the claimants. In 2000, the settlement agreement was signed with the city, the District Six beneficiary trust and the department, setting out the programme for the re-development of District Six. The District Six beneficiary trust proceeded with the development of pilot phases 1 and 2.
"After the completion of the initial pilot phases, the community approached government for further assistance. The then minister of rural development and land reform, Gugile Nkwinti, committed government to assist in the completion of the outstanding houses. Over a period, engagements proceeded towards the development of a plan," said the department.