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D6 Trust slates restitution decisions

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The District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust (D6 Trust) has criticised some of the outcomes of Saturday’s claimants meeting, most notably the proposed establishment of a Community Property Association (CPA). The meeting was hosted by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, focused solely at those who lodged claims before the original cut-off date of 31st December 1998.

The proposal of a CPA was put forward by the minister himself, to act on behalf of the claimants and current residents of the area. The CPA would serve as a replacement for the D6 Trust and would provide claimants with a more direct route of relaying their issues with the minster. The majority of attendees voted in favour of the CPA.

However, D6 Trust chairperson Dr. Anwar Nagia was concerned that the community were being “hoodwinked” by the ministry. He suggested the establishment of a CPA would take away the rights of claimants, putting them all into “one pot” and determining who received a house and who received a flat.

“If you go for a CPA you lose your individual rights, and you seed your rights into the particular pool. This is as opposed to the Trust, which acts, speaks, and articulates on behalf of the people,” he said.

He added that the idea of the establishment of a CPA had not previously been addressed to the community and the proposal had come as something of a surprise. Nagia also expressed concern at what he believed was a sense of class division taking place in the process. This was after suggestions that previous tenants of District Six would likely receive flats, whilst land owners would be awarded row housing. He asserted that this was part of a gentrification process taking place.

Responding to Nagia’s comments, department spokesperson, Vuyani Nkasayi, insisted the D6 Trust would remain a strategic partner to the department, as well as the leadership of the District Six community.

In response to the CPA issue, he said the minister was clear that the D6 community needed to establish a governance structure, either in the name of a trust or CPA. This was vital because the CPA would report directly to the minister himself, as opposed to a trust which would report to the Master of the High Court.

“The people of District Six chose a CPA. But that decision is not just a final decision, because the process of establishing a trust is going to be a long one,” he insisted.

Nkasayi noted that the minister had also sought to get a mandate from the attendees of Saturday’s meeting, to get money that was paid to the D6 Trust as lump sums and partial payments, reimbursed.

“He is proposing that they must give him that mandate, so that Minister Nkwinti can go and negotiate with the minister of constitutional development and justice, and also approach the master of the high court, to start a process of getting that money from the Trust,” he said.

He also addressed the failure of Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, and City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to attend the meeting, despite earlier suggestions they would be present. Nkasayi insisted that all spheres of government had been present in a task team meeting, held just hours before the claimants meeting

“The Premier put forward an apology because she had attended a funeral. The City of Cape Town however, was represented by the deputy mayor,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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