HEAL OUR CITY.
URGENT NEED TO HAVE DISTRICT 6 PROCLAIMED A NATIONAL HERITAGE SITE!
PETITION TO ALL CITIZENS OF CAPE TOWN
And invite to a
DIGNIFIED WALK ON HERITAGE DAY.
Dear fellow residents of greater Cape Town, we urgently need your support and solidarity.
The District 6 Working Committee represents 2500 claimants each representing a family. We made our claims in terms of the Amendment Act 1 July 2014. The recent decision by the Constitutional Court to have the Amendment declared unconstitutional because of deficient consultation, does not, the ruling emphasises, render our claims invalid. Our claims are additional to the close to 1000 outstanding claims lodged under the original Act. We are all agreed that urgent action is required to save our land from further encroachment!
Our violent removal after 11 February 1966 displaced a community of more than 60 000 people to different and desolate places on the Cape Flats. For half a century now it has left a wound in our hearts and souls. The desolate slope on our beloved Table Mountain is a daily reminder of our pain.
Restitution and/or equitable redress as stated in Section 25 of the Constitution has eluded us since 1994. The political will of local, provincial and national government stands accused.
Dispossession and disparities in landownership are stark and loom large as powerful symbols of enduring racial inequality and social exclusion in post-apartheid society. Many contemporary solutions are based on formulations that deny complexity. They elevate single elements into simplistic prescriptions: ‘Restore stolen land!’ ‘Maintain national food security!’ ‘Respect traditional institutions and culture!’
Our Constitution declares that a person or community dispossessed of property, as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled “either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress”. The Restitution Act requires the Land Claims Court to have regard to “the requirements of equity and justice”; and to “the history of the dispossession, the hardship caused, the current use of the land and the history of the acquisition…”
To prevent further encroachment of the land, District 6 must to be proclaimed a Heritage Site!
It needs to happen now!
Why is this urgent? The land we cherish and that we once lived on is shrinking at an alarming rate!
• Before the demolitions and evictions, District 6 covered 150 hectares. Today, the land designated for restitution purposes has ‘shrunk’ to 42 hectares. Despite our representations about boundary manipulations and unjust acquisitions, 72% of our land has been alienated since 1994! The private sector and CPUT, with the help of the City of Cape Town, are responsible for this.
What land has been alienated?
• North of Nelson Mandela Boulevard, developers, with City concurrence, disingenuously determined that parts of our land was technically not designated District 6, but part of Woodstock and Salt River. This is an outrage! Our homes were similarly destroyed here too. Parts of Woodstock and Walmer Estate were always integral to District 6. We were one community!
• Northeast, towards Vredehoek, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is chipping ever further parts of our land away to make way for its expansion.
Right now Developers are knocking on the authorities’ doors with offers on how the 42 remaining hectares can be turned into upmarket residential and commercial space.
We do not want the City of Cape Town be our enemy, but instead our partner and head the proposal to have District 6 proclaimed a Heritage site. Only this will stop the further wanton reduction of our land!
1. Please support our petition. We seek individuals, civic, religious bodies, schools, non-governmental and professional structures to sign our petition below. If you are not part of a structure, please support us in your personal capacity.
2. Please join us on Heritage Day, 24 September, at the Grand Parade. With minstrel groups, we intend to hold a peaceful and dignified walk from the Grand Parade to the District 6 land where we shall share our food and have all Cape Town’s people engage in conversation with each other. You are encouraged to bring along picnic hampers. We assemble at the Grand Parade no later than 11am and start our walk at 12 noon.
We hope that those who partake in Heritage Day events earlier in the day, may still join us on this all-important day for our call!
The call for Heritage status is addressed to National, Provincial and Local Government, to the National Commissioner of the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform, and to the Hon. Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, chair of the Land Reform Commission.
Our call is directed most especially to the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille.
A recently formed Cape Town initiative, Masibuyisane, dedicated to redress, restitution, reconciliation / herstel, vergoeding, versoening – has provided us with valuable support to make our quest more widely known to all the City’s people.
Your indication of support is for the D6 Working Committee to demonstrate to the City, the Province and to National Government that the remaining 42 hectares of District 6 has wide public support and should therefore urgently be proclaimed a Heritage Site.
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
1. Demonstrate your support and reply to us by email, sms but preferably go to: http://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/save-the-last-remaining-district-6-land-from-alien-building-developments where you can indicate your support online. (See email and telephone contacts above). To accommodate organisations who seek to discuss their support at committee or board level, we now accept indications of support until the end of October 2016. If you live outside Cape Town but feel connected to our concerns, your support is equally welcome.
2. Please augment your written support by joining us on Saturday 24th September, a Public Holiday designated Heritage Day, for a dignified and peaceful walk from the Grand Parade to the open District 6 land. The walk commences from the Parade at midday. We want to demonstrate that communities from across Cape Town seek the healing of Cape Town’s deep and painful wound!
I take this opportunity to thank you for taking up our cause. Justice will prevail in the end!
Please spread this appeal as widely as you can to people and organisations you know.
A quiet space
From the website www.susangroves.com
Sometimes there is a need to get away from ones own space to be quiet and away from the usual distractions.
Though situated in an urban environment, I have developed a space/s where one can come for periods of quiet varying from half a day to several days. The area is quiet and close to a green belt for walking. I can make myself available if you would like to consult with me and there are other resource people within walking distance.
Half a day R50-R100
Full day: R100-150
24 hours: R200
These may change over time.
Contact Susan Groves at 761 6073 or firstname.lastname@example.org