By Sicelo Nxumalo in response to an original article by EWN
The District six statistics is but an intimation of what lies in the background when it comes to government’s failure to expedite the land restitution dilemma. As admitted by the land claims commissioner in this article, and judging from the pace at which this process is going as well as the report of the portfolio committee [DRDLR status report; Upgrading of informal settlements & services for backyard dwellers: City of Cape Town dated 19 June 2018], the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights also struggles with competing claims. Various court applications later, the District Six matter signals a nationwide issue that not only affects the residents of District Six, but the country as a whole.
This is evident from the LAMOSA judgments which dealt with the delay in finalising those land claims that were submitted before 1998. Though LAMOSA 1 and 2 deals with the failure by government to comply with its public participation duty when deciding to reopen the land claims process in 2013 the essence of these cases is the failure of government to provide redress to claimants in a timely manner. District Six unveils the practical intricacies and failures by the DRDLR to implement the land programme Statistically, from the DRDLR report referred to above, it is apparent that even with about 53% of claimants having opted for monetary compensation and 4% of claims having been rejected, the remaining 43% or even less, is still too much for the DRDLR to handle.
Sicelo Nxumalo, Candidate Attorney at the Legal Resources Centre and a Bertha Justice Fellow 2018/2019.