Zille also called for Keizergracht to be given back its original name - Hanover Street, adding it’s her dream to see oumas sitting on the stoeps watching their grandkids play in the streets of District Six.
The Western Cape premier was invited to make the keynote address to over 300 claimants at a meeting organised by the District Six Working Committee at the Absa Auditorium of CPUT’s City campus on Sunday.
The meeting comes ahead of a court date this week where the Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, must explain why her department has failed to adhere to a Land Claims Court ruling that they deliver a “holistic” development plan for the area.
Speaking to claimants, Zille said although land restitution was the national government’s responsibility, her office would do what it could to assist.
“I support this court case to hold national government accountable. As premier, I am accountable,” she said.
“We planned the building of the new District Six Clinic to coincide with people moving back into the area. There is now a fully functional clinic to serve residents.”
One of the biggest obstacles holding up the project is claimants’ insistence that government fully subsidise their houses.
Government asked claimants in 2012 to each contribute R225 000 towards a house.
“Division in the community is part of the problem,” Zille says.
“The claimants are urged to agree on what would be a suitable subsidy to them. This is important for the development plan to work. Agree on what kind of housing will suit all the parties.”
Using Cape Town Stadium as a comparison, she said national treasury could build the stadium within three years at a cost of R4.4 billion, yet claimants are still waiting.
She added: “We are committed to assisting the 2 895 claimants. I also agree that Keizergracht should get its real name back. It should be Hanover Street and with that, we need stoeps - the ones the oumas used to sit on and watch the children playing.”
In March, the Land Claims Court ruled that government has violated the rights of District Six claimants who lodged their claims as far back as 1998.
This after the department said it would take another 20 years and nearly R12 billion to rebuild District Six.
In a far-reaching judgement, Judge Jody Kollapen granted the claimants a declaratory order, forcing the department to come up with a viable plan, but it failed to do so.
This prompted the DSWC to file an urgent application at the Randburg Land Claims Court to force the minister to explain in person her lack of action.
The hearing will take place on Wednesday in the Western Cape High Court before Judge Jody Kollapen.
Shahied Ajam of the DSWC urged claimants to attend court and hold national government accountable.
“We want high-density homes for all claimants and we cannot wait 20 more years for a development plan. Our vision is to restore our D6 to the tourist jewel it was meant to be,” he says.
There was great support from the mostly senior crowd at the meeting.
One claimant, aged 65, said: “I just want to go home before I die.”