City celebrates land restitution with 86 claimant families in Bishop’s Court

In fulfilling its commitment to redress and reconciliation, the City of Cape Town recently celebrated a restitution claim milestone with 86 families who are the rightful owners of the land and who were forcibly removed by the unjust Apartheid regime between 1966 and 1969 under the atrocious Group Areas Act. These families and others who have passed on were moved from their land in Bishop’s Court to the Cape Flats to areas such as Lotus River, Steenberg, Grassy Park, Manenberg, Heideveld and Wetton.
This will ensure that members of these families can live on this land that was so wrongfully taken from their elders. The claimants of the prime land in Bishop’s Court, known as the Protea Village Action Committee, lodged their claim for their land in 1995 and have been on this journey for 22 years.
In 2006, the National Government, the City and claimant community signed a memorandum of agreement in which the City agreed to transfer 8,5 hectares of the land to the claimants at no cost. Today this land is valued at approximately R100 million. In terms of that agreement, the Department of Public Works also agreed to transfer 3,7 hectares of land that was in its ownership to the claimants at no cost.
The City assisted with all planning and legislative tasks related to the resettlement of the claimant community such as the subdivision process which has been concluded.
Meanwhile, the Department of Land Affairs appointed a service provider to assist the claimants with the community development plans.

In the coming months, we will be finalizing the transfer of land in Plumstead, Crawford and Heideveld to claimants. It is my commitment that we will continue doing all we can to ensure that the rightful owners are returned to their land that was so cruelly taken away from them.
–  Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille

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