Premier Zille Calls for New District Six Development Model
Premier Helen Zille has called for a new development model in District Six to fast-track the delivery of houses, so that residents are able to return to the area.
The national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is responsible for developing District Six, but 23 years later the prime land on the mountain slopes over-looking the CBD remains mostly undeveloped.
Speaking on Cape Talk’s Jonh Maytham show on Wednesday evening, Premier Zille said the national government’s approach of pilot phases had failed to deliver, and that a development model for the whole site was needed, along the lines of the Province’s Better Living Model.
“District Six shows you something very important – the government say they cannot get on with land reform if they don’t expropriate land without compensation – District Six is a classic example of why that is nonsense.
It is inconceivable that in 23 years, only 139 units have been handed over, with 108 currently under construction, but delayed due to poor workmanship and contractor issues. This is a clear indication that the current model - which involves pilot phase after pilot phase - is unsuccessful and unsustainable,” said Premier Zille.
Zille said that of the more than 2600 claimants, 1449 had opted for financial compensation. Around 1200 beneficiaries preferred to return to District Six, but over 1000 of them and their families are still waiting.
The solution was to develop the site as a whole using the Better Living Model, with commercial units and retail cross-subsidising the Land Restitution residential units, explained Zille.
Recent media reports indicated a possible intention by the national government to transfer responsibility for District Six to the Province.
Premier Zille said the Province would love to apply the Better Living Model in District Six, and that she was seeking a meeting with her national counterparts to gain clarity on this.
“The transfer of this project makes absolute sense, given the failure of DRDLR. The purported conflict between the various representative groups, is also exacerbating the delays. A speedy resolution, which should include a redevelopment plan, is therefore urgently required,” said Premier Zille.