The District Six Working Committee will on Saturday host a meeting to outline the Western Cape High Court ruling which gives the Land Reform and Rural Development Minister and the Commission of Land Rights three months to produce a comprehensive plan, together with a budget and funding, to deal with the D6 land claims.
District Six Working Committee chairperson Shahied Ajam said they are expecting a big turnout at their meeting.
“We expect a lot of stakeholders, all the claimant groups and especially those claimants who claimed between 1995 and 1998,” said Ajam.
Norton Rose, who is the legal representative of the Committee as well as that of Bo-Kaap Youth Movement (BKYM) and property developers Blok, will chair the meeting and provide the latest updates on the situation.
Ajam explained that a plan needs to be presented by February 18th, 2019.
“Should Government present a plan on that day it would mean that they had worked together with the affected claimants.”
When discussing how the process of restitution would work, Ajam said that everything would be returned to the claimants.
“They are going to get back everything and we have a sustainable plan in place. In short, people will be economically empowered,” Ajam said.
Ajam added that a lot of redesigning of the area can be done with the space given.
“We can design recreational, educational, pedestrian and memorial spaces. This is just the beginning of a beautiful era for the people of District Six and can serve as a catalyst for the whole country. This is not about bureaucracy anymore, it is a legal matter.”
Ajam further added that despite being a democracy for 24 years, the government still overlooks the historically disadvantaged people.
“Gentrification is not something you can stop unfortunately but you can counter it with development by the community. We have ourselves to blame because we were also fast asleep for 24 years. We must now become proactive.”
“The meeting is not only for the people of District Six, it’s for every previously disadvantaged community. We can start something fresh and new in South Africa.”
By: Zaahidah Meyer / VOC