Political will needed to get District Six housing project running, says dept

Hundreds of former residents are still waiting for land restitution.

FILE: The religious structures including two mosques and several churches were the only buildings that were spared when District Six was demolished. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Political will is needed from all three spheres of government to get a multi-billion rand housing project in District Six off the ground.

Hundreds of former residents are still waiting for land restitution.

In November, a court ordered government to come up with a plan detailing how it would satisfy the needs of residents with land claims dating back to 1998.

In court papers filed by government last week, the Rural Development and Land Reform Department says that the state cannot afford a plan to provide land restitution to all the verified claimants.

A plan to build more than 2,000 restitution units is estimated to take two decades to be developed.

The papers also state that the entire project will cost R11.6 billion of which just over R2 billion will come from government subsidies.

The papers also highlight possible risks and challenges, like government not being able to make subsidies available, insufficient building materials and delays in regulatory approvals.

A significant requirement outlined in the papers is “political will to establish the programme”.

This means local, provincial and national government will all need to set aside any contestations, to not only get this project off the ground but to ensure long-term resilience.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)