The District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust (D6 Trust) has announced their withdrawal from the Phase 3 of the redevelopment process in the District Six area, citing the fact that claimants were being “seduced by the promise of a free house”.
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, the D6 Trust’s chief executive officer, Naz Ally, suggested those claimants who “graciously grabbed upon” the RDP houses being offered by the city, were indirectly selling their birth right, and their children’s inheritance.
Ally said the Trust had always stood for a sustainable District Six, where claimants received dignified homes. However, he said the current phase had shown many claimants forsaking that sustainability, for the promise of free houses. He said the Trust could not participate in a process it did not believe in, calling it a matter of principle.
“Sustainability was built into our plan, and since the people have spoken in such a way, we have decided we are not going to participate in this phase anymore,” he explained.
However, he noted the D6 Trust had no intention of withdrawing from the redevelopment process altogether, saying they still had overwhelming support from claimants, and would continue to “quietly garner that support”, until the time was appropriate for them to step back into the fold.
Discussing the path they would have liked the redevelopment process to have followed, Ally said the D6 Trust had a well-researched business plan developed, which had been posed to the community, the City of Cape Town, as well as all other political stakeholders involved in the process. That plan gave claimants several options, including one that would “sell off the land, build the claimant a nice three bedroom house, and put some change in their pocket”.
However, the option the D6 Trust favoured would have seen all claimants make a financial contribution, between R200 000 and R250 000, which would be used to build claimants a dignified home, and also provide the community with enough cash flow to start the commercial developments in District Six. These commercial developments would be owned by the claimants themselves, meaning they would financially benefit from it as well.
“It’s about sustainability. You get an income, your rates would no longer be a problem, and your pension would no longer a problem. This has all been thrown by the wayside,” he said.
The D6 Trust viewed those who accepted financial compensation instead of the land entitled to them, in the same boat as those accepting RDP houses. He accused them of also selling off their birth right, and their children’s inheritance.
“If your dignity is worth 30 pieces of silver, don’t make it our problem, we are not interested. We are fighting for the people who want to return to District Six, and create a sustainable community,” he said.
Ally also took issue with the land slated to be used for the current phase of development. He suggested the city would look to build as many homes as possible on land provided by the CPUT, and “steal the balance” that they currently owned, and had promised for the redevelopment process.
“Our plan was to integrate all of this land, but because of the way things have now turned out, the danger is that all of that land is in fact lost,” he claimed.
He concluded that all those supporters of the D6 Trust who had already paid the R200 000 plus financial contribution, would be completely reimbursed.
“We cannot sit by and watch unfairness happen. We are going to give the people their money back. All that we have to do is have a resolution tabled, but I’m sure that is just a formality,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)