After being the subject of a “landmark” agreement between all three tiers of government on Tuesday‚ by Friday District Six was back to being a political football.
The Western Cape housing committee said the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform was “misleading the public” by claiming no agreement had been reached on resettling people on land cleared in the 1970s during one of apartheid’s most shameful and enduring episodes.
Earlier in the week‚ committee chair Matlhodi Maseko said a deal with the department’s director-general‚ Rendani Sadiki‚ would see funding for the reconstruction of District Six transferred to the provincial government.
On Thursday‚ the department denied any such agreement and said Sadiki did not have the power to authorise such an agreement.
During a press conference on Friday‚ Maseko said Sadiki had informed the committee that as the department’s accounting officer she was authorised to make the decision which would see national government working with the provincial government and the City of Cape Town to end the long wait for restitution by District Six land claimants.
“I am gravely concerned that the department is backtracking on its commitment made to the community of District Six‚ who have already waited 20 years to be returned to their beloved community‚” she said.
“During the standing committee on Tuesday... the national department agreed to work together with the provincial Department of Human Settlements‚ permitting it to complete phase three of the housing for the District Six restitution programme.”
Speaking to TimesLIVE‚ Sadiki would not confirm any agreement on Friday but said she was surprised when she saw a DA press statement about discussions in the meeting.