Land claimants to re­ceive new homes

For­mer Bon­te­heuwel res­i­dents to move to Hei­de­veld

Cape Argus - - News - Ru­sana Phi­lan­der

AGROUP of peo­ple who were forcibly removed from Bon­te­heuwel in 1958 by the apartheid gov­ern­ment are look­ing for­ward to be­ing set­tled in Hei­de­veld soon. The group at­tended the Com­mis­sion of Resti­tu­tion of Land Rights’ ur­ban de­vel­op­ment dia­logue in Cape Town yes­ter­day.

Anne Adams, 80, said Bon­te­heuwel was known as Jakkalsvlei in the 1950s.

“Our house was lo­cated next to the N2 and we had a huge prop­erty. It was in the 1950s that the apartheid gov­ern­ment came to our house and told us that we must move. And in 1958 we moved to Sur­rey Es­tate. All our homes were de­mol­ished after we left. The town­ship of Bon­te­heuwel was later built. A few years ago we lodged our claims and we re­ceived a piece of land in Wel­come Es­tate in Hei­de­veld, where we will be build­ing houses. We look for­ward to mov­ing into our new homes,” she said.

At the ur­ban de­vel­op­ment dia­logue, chief land claims com­mis­sioner Nom­fundo Nt­loko-Go­bodo said they had re­ceived 163 000 new ap­pli­ca­tions for the new year. Of the 80 000 na­tional, old land claim ap­pli­ca­tions, 771 still needed to be set­tled in ur­ban ar­eas.

“In ur­ban ar­eas it is im­por­tant to cre­ate stan­dard part­ner­ships with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties so that projects are sus­tain­able, mean­ing after we sup­ply the claimants with their land the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties pro­vide bulk in­fra­struc­ture and hous­ing. The houses can be pri­vately built or peo­ple can ac­cess hous­ing sub­si­dies. But we also need the gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to work to­gether.”

She said the 108 new houses which will be built in District Six will be com­pleted in April. “District Six is a unique ex­am­ple of resti­tu­tion in this coun­try. Peo­ple were able to re­turn to the area,” she said.

Cindy Benyane, act­ing deputy land claims com­mis­sioner, ex­plained while many land resti­tu­tion ben­e­fi­cia­ries chose fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion as an op­tion, some chose orig­i­nal land which was some­times ac­com­pa­nied by some form of de­vel­op­ment. “In­stead of fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion, land resti­tu­tion ben­e­fi­cia­ries will be en­cour­aged to choose land as it is key to poverty alle­vi­a­tion.

“In or­der to at­tain sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment set­tle­ments, the com­mis­sion will have to adopt some of the res­o­lu­tions of the 1992 Earth Sum­mit held in Rio de Janeiro. There should be an in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment


that fo­cuses on ad­e­quate shelter for all, sus­tain­able use of en­ergy, res­i­den­tial plan­ning and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Due to the ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive de­vel­op­ment of ur­ban ar­eas, it aids in the good health of the econ­omy and to meet­ing the needs of the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion that is grow­ing at an alarm­ing rate,” Benyane said.

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