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District Six land claimants hope to move back soon after High Court ruling

The court on Monday ordered the Rural Development and Land Reform Minister to draw up a plan to expedite restitution there.

District Six land claimants pictured inside the Western Cape High Court on 26 November 2018. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN – There is some hope on the horizon for hundreds of District Six land claimants.

Residents who were forcibly removed from the area during apartheid are hoping to move back soon, thanks to a Western Cape High Court ruling.

The court on Monday ordered the Rural Development and Land Reform Minister to draw up a plan to expedite restitution there. It'll hopefully mark the end of a protracted court battle.

Rasmia Phillips, aged 63, was forced out of District Six in the seventies by the apartheid government.

Phillips and her family have lived in Lentegeur since then, but she's hopeful after Monday’s partial victory that she'll soon get to move back to her old home.

“I want to go in Bloemhof Flats because it's still standing. And to my knowledge, restitution means where you came out, you go back, is it not? So that's my strong feeling, going back to Bloemhof Flats.”

The advocate representing national government, Sean Rosenberg, on Monday admitted there has been a delay in providing restitution for District Six claimants.

Judge Jody Kollapen has ordered the respondents in the matter, which includes the Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, to come up with a comprehensive plan immediately to satisfy the restitution of the claimants.

Government will also have to report back to the court by February on what the plan is.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)