Family reclaims farm over 50 years after forced sale

2015-10-30 08:15
Juanita Solomon, left, with her sister Bernice Kallis. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Juanita Solomon, left, with her sister Bernice Kallis. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


The DA's land-reform model versus the ANC's

2015-08-31 11:05

The Western Cape is the leading Province when it comes to land restitution and the settling of land claims in South Africa. In this video we delve further into the DA's land reform model and find out how it's been successful. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Twenty years after lodging a claim for six hectares of land her father was forced to sell under the Group Areas Act, an emotional Juanita Solomon walked proudly on the sandy plot after it was returned to her family.

"I am standing here today with so many mixed emotions on the soil of the farm my parents bought when I was 6-weeks-old," Solomon, 73, said on Thursday, when Mayor Patricia de Lille released the property in Retreat.

"It was hills and valleys where my daddy toiled after a full day’s work until midnight. My mommy told us that every night after his dinner he would go into the hills, and on this we eventually farmed."

In the 1940s, flowers and vegetables grew on the land while chickens, cattle and horses ran on the fields, she said.

This was until her father, Isaac, was forced to sell the land in 1961 after that part of Retreat was named a whites-only area.

After the death of her parents in the early 1990s, she took a modest file containing her parents’ documentation and lodged a claim. Red tape and endless paperwork resulted in her waiting two decades for the land to be released.

She took the matter to De Lille, whose office handled the claim on her behalf.

"And 1, 2, 3 - this is what we are witnessing today," Solomon said.

The six acres had a municipal value of R5.6m, De Lille said. While the City of Cape Town was legally entitled to keep it, the council believed the land was never its to begin with.

"She has lived in this area for more than seven decades, spending the last five decades only three streets away from the land she once knew as her home. Only now is her journey finally coming to an end," she said.

"At the current rate of restitution, many claimants will not live to see the justice in their lifetime. They will not live to see the return of land which rightfully belongs to them. Too many have been waiting for too long."

Solomon was adamant that the land would not be sold and her whole family would stay on it.

De Lille said the City would support and prioritise their building plans once they had been submitted. They would  get a 10-year property rates holiday from the date the property was transferred into the family's name.

Read more on:    cape town  |  land

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.