District Six redevelopment project under way

Pretoria - The third phase of the District Six redevelopment project – where about 108 flats and houses are being built - is currently underway.

Minster of Rural development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti visited the project on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of District Six as a white area.

About 60 000 people were forcibly removed under the apartheid government's Group Areas Act from the iconic inner-city suburb and dumped in single-race ghettoes far from town.

Five decades later, thousands of Capetonians are still fighting for restitution.

Minister Nkwinti said government has prioritised their land claims, but he noted that it has proven to be complex to settle claims.

Some of the difficulties include tracing some claimants, while some claimants who originally opted for financial compensation changed their minds, or the descendants battled to agree among themselves.

A total of 2670 District Six restitution claims were submitted to government by the closing date of the initial lodgement process at the end of 1998.

Of these claimants 1439 opted for financial compensation which saw them receiving R39.7 million in total and 1126 claimants opted to return to the area.

The first phase of rebuilding was completed in 2004, with 24 homes handed over to elderly residents.

A second phase of 115 homes was delivered in 2012.

The new restitution claims lodgement window opened in July 2014, closing in June 2019. By December 2015 said 1300 new claims had been submitted.

- SAnews.gov.za