The City of Cape Town’s Dido Valley housing development has come under scrutiny by a group of Ocean View residents who claim the housing database is not being correctly used to effect restitution for those affected by the Group Areas Act forced removals.
People’s Post reported on the Heritage Day activities hosted by the City last month where Redhill residents and Luyolo land claimants visited the development that they will soon call home.
Ocean View’s Aslam Richards and Vasco Vigis, supported by a group of other residents, have made it clear that they intend to dispute the way in which the City’s housing database awarded homes to the 600 residents who will be receiving title deeds on the prime Dido Valley land.
Richards, in a video posted on Facebook, said the land once belonged to people who now live in Redhill and Ocean View. But he questioned how the recipients of new houses were being chosen.
“What is going to happen now is that the people from the Eastern Cape who are originally staying in Redhill (until) now, they are going to be living on this (Dido Valley) land. So the Democratic Alliance (DA) is basically taking our land that we were thrown off from during apartheid and giving it to people from the Eastern Cape. So we really need to ask the DA councillors what database they are using to give people this land,” he says.
James Kloppers, another resident, agrees the land should be awarded to people like him.
“I actually grew up in Dido Valley and in the Group Areas Act removals we had to move to Ocean View in 1968. We didn’t have any compensation (for our homes) in Dido Valley. Now we rent from the council, but we stay here for years. Why can’t we have the opportunity to have a place there? My roots are there; we played in the mountains there. We can’t do that in Ocean View because we are scared.”
Kloppers’s sister, Jennifer Ravell, says she still thinks about the place they called home.
“We were just dumped in Ocean View. A big white truck came and told us we had to go – no explanation. It was so sad for us and it’s still sad when we think about it. Now others are benefitting from the land. We don’t have money to buy houses and we were moved into flats with long stairs.”
Ravell says she filled in a land claim application about 10 years ago but was rejected as it was done after the cut-off date.
According to Malusi Booi, the Mayco member for human settlements, the process of awarding houses is dictated by City policy.
“In line with the City’s housing allocation policy, an allocation request split must be proposed by the project steering committee (PSC) and approved by the City. This process was undertaken for the Dido Valley project, and the allocation split allocated 472 units to the Redhill informal settlement, 100 units to the Luyolo land claimants, and the remainder to those on the old Simon’s Town waiting list,” says Booi.
He adds that Redhill beneficiaries are identified according to the official list of the settlement which is maintained by the City by way of regular surveys undertaken in Redhill.
The Luyolo beneficiaries, he explains, are verified by the Land Claims Commission prior to inclusion in the project, “and the City’s only involvement with this component of the project is to construct the houses on behalf of those beneficiaries, not to verify or approve their applications as it is a land reform and restitution process that is governed by the national government”.
He says the City is aware of the plight of the Ocean View land claimants, but that any queries in this regard must be referred to the Land Claims Commission; the national government authority mandated to deal with any matters pertaining to land claims.
Ocean View residents will hand over a memorandum of demands to subcouncil 19 on Saturday 24 October during a planned march.