Peaceful march to keep legacy alive

2016-09-20 06:00

The District Six Working Committee is on a mission to keep the legacy of the area alive on Heritage Day this year, and call for claims to be settled.

The chairman of the committee, Shahied Ajam, wants people to join them on Sunday 25 September to not only remember the legacy of District Six, but also call on authorities to work on settling claims for the former residents.

“We are hosting a peaceful march from the Grand Parade to the heart of District Six,” he says.

“Minstrel groups will lead the march and then we will share our food and let people engage in conversation as we have a picnic.

“This march will also call on people to sign our petition to prevent further encroachment on the lands and for authorities to settle the outstanding claims.”

The committee represents 2500 claimants – each representing a family. 

The committee made claims in terms of the Amendment Act on 1 July 2014, explains Ajam.

“The recent decision by the Constitutional Court to have the amendment declared unconstitutional because of deficient consultation, does not – as the ruling emphasises – render our claims invalid. Our claims are additional to the close to 1000 outstanding claims lodged under the original Act.”

Ajam also wants the area to be declared a heritage site because too many sections are being sold off for other purposes, shrinking the land available for restitution.

“The land we cherish and that we once lived on, is shrinking at an alarming rate. Before the demolitions and evictions, District Six covered 150 hectares. Today, the land designated for restitution purposes has shrunk to just 42 hectares. Despite our representations, boundary manipulations and unjust acquisitions, 72% of our land has been alienated since 1994.” 

- The petition can also be signed on the organisation’s website www.district6wc.co.za. Further information from 021 801 8437, 076 665 6224 or email to enquiries@district6wc.co.za. 

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