The District Six Working Committee (D6WC) said they have been overwhelmed by the attendance of land restitution claimants who attended their meeting on Saturday. The meeting which was held at the Blackpool sports complex in Salt River meeting attracted 1000 people. D6WC CEO Seraj Jenkings said claimants expressed their increased frustration with the land claims process and feel the current restitution process is not moving swiftly enough.
“We have been victims of the Natives Land Act of 1913, the Group Areas Act of 1950’s and other racially discriminatory legislation and systems of the past. We have seen the dispossession of the right to land, been forcibly evicted from their homes, dumped into townships like animals and thus robbed of our dignity, culture and heritage,” he said.
In terms of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of South Africa as well as the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act 22 of 1994, former residents are eligible for restorative justice, said Jenkins. He said the meeting aimed to inform claimants that restitution is not about housing schemes or money.
“It’s about restoring property loss, restoring injury, restoring a sense of security, restoring dignity, restoring a sense of empowerment, restoring deliberate democracy, restoring harmony based on a feeling that justice has been done, and restoring social support,” Jenkins added.
He said that the D6WC has taken a holistic approach to redress the “flawed” restitution process which was implemented in 1995. The organisation has been mandated by its members to take the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, the Western Cape Regional Land Claims Commissioner as well as Local, Provincial & National Government to task about the slow and “undignified” land reform and land redistribution process for the last 17 years.
They also want to reassure that the Committee is an NGO.
“We have and never will ask any land claimants to pay for any assistance rendered or claims filed with their help. We are there to assist in the process and make it easier on those claiming.” VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)