District Six restitution to meet deadline

Rural Development Minister is optimistic the restitution project will be completed by 2014.

Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti. Picture: Catherine Rice/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Rural Development and Land Reform Ministry says it remains optimistic it can complete District Six's restitution process by 2014.

A total of 66 houses in the area were handed over to beneficiaries at the weekend.

But, the process has been plagued by problems.

More recently, a group of people invaded homes in the area claiming the land belong to them and their descendants.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said, "We are going into phase two and phase three now, the deadline for the project is 2014, so we don't have much time."

Meanwhile, Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says no District Six claimant should be paying for their homes.

The project's beneficiary trust had plans to turn the site into a commercial area.

But Nkwinti says this is no longer the case.

"We discussed with them that we will build basic houses which will be free. If residents want to extend, they are free to do so, if they have money."

In June, The City of Cape Town along with hundreds of claimants gathered in Claremont, almost 100 years after the Natives Land Act of 1913 was first proposed.

Some claimants received a piece of land or payment, while others said they were still waiting after several years.

De Lille said land restitution was an objective of the city's integrated development plan.