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District Six Land Settlement

Sub Category:Land Restitution Agreement (South Africa)
Place:Cape Town
State/Country:Western Cape, Republic of South Africa
Subject Matter:Land Settlement
Summary Information:
The District Six Land Settlement was negotiated between the Commission for the Restitution of Land Rights, the District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust and the Cape Town City Council. It provides for former residents of District Six, located in central Cape Town, to be returned to the area from which they had been removed as a result of apartheid-era policies of racial segregation. In post-apartheid South Africa, the right to restitution for land that was compulsorily acquired as 'a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices' is constitutionally protected, and the process prescribed in the Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994 ('the Act').

The restitution process began in 1995 as a group claim under the Act and comprised 2,293 people, of whom around 800 were making ownership claims and the rest tenancy claims. The process of resettlement began in 2004, however the majority of District Six claimants have opted for monetary, rather than property restitution. (Beyers, 269-70)
Detailed Information:
District Six was declared a 'white-only' area under the apartheid era Group Areas Act 1950 in 1966, and around 60,000 mainly 'coloured' people removed from their land up until 1982. Forced removals had also occurred prior to the Group Areas Act declaration, with so-called 'black' South Africans removed from the turn of the twentieth century. Many residents were relocated to the Cape Flats.

The restitution process is an ongoing one. It is estimated that 4,000 homes will be built in the area for settlement by ex-residents who had been previously removed from the area. The area had remained largely undeveloped due to 'concerted opposition to its redevelopment under apartheid.' (Beyers, 267). Those who do resettle in the area are prohibited from selling their land for fifteen years. (The Independent)

Related Entries

  • Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
  • District Six Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust
  • Cape Town City Council
  • Legislation
  • Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Apartheid

  • Glossary

    Land Restitution Agreement (South Africa)

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