The District Six Working Committee in Cape Town will meet with its members and other interested parties on Sunday to provide updates on the restitution process and related litigation.
Minister of Land Reform Thoko Didiza is expected to submit a framework plan to the Land Claims Court on Tuesday.
The framework plan will include a detailed layout of the redevelopment of the area, funding, time frames and the methodology to allocate residential units to claimants.
“Once we are all in agreement with the plan and the court approves it, the number one priority would be to come in with a bulk infrastructure of which the City of Cape Town has already indicated that they are ready and eager to start that,” says Working Committee Chairperson Shahied Ajam.
“I would think that in the very early part of the year 2020, excavation and all those things will start. I think that when that happens people will then really believe that District Six is finally becoming a reality,” added Ajam.
District Six was a large cosmopolitan area in the heart of Cape Town before it was declared a white group area in February 1960.
The apartheid government’s move led to the displacement of over 60 000 people through forceful removals.
The redevelopment of District Six is expected to cost about R11 billion and restitution around R2.4 billion. The Land Reform Department has previously said it could only afford to spend R351 million a year.
District Six Museum
Meanwhile, the District Six Museum is celebrating its 25th year of existence.
The museum was established during the “Hands Off District Six” activist campaign of 1989 and officially opened in 1994 for its first exhibition.
Museum Director Bonita Bennett says the museum holds firm to most of the core values on which it was founded.
“That whole connection with community, it’s a connection with Human Rights; it’s a connection with the land, it’s a connection with just celebrating culture and I can say over 25 years obviously the context has changed, but we still can say this part of our life,” Bennett says.
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