The ANC in South Africa’s Western Cape province is accusing the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s apartheid era political party of preventing blacks from moving into a “Jewish area” they were evicted from during apartheid.
Xolani Sotashe, the ANC chief whip in the City of Cape Town, said DA councillors had colluded with developers to keep the beneficiaries of the Tramway Road Community Trust out of Sea Point.
The trust was formed in 1996 by families of 150 black families who were forcibly removed from Tramway Road in Sea Point under the Group Areas Act in the 1960s.
The families, now living in Retreat, Bonteheuwel, Hanover Park and Manenberg, collectively lodged a claim with the Land Claims Commission, and were awarded the land back in 2001.
A sod-turning event marking a new development on the land was held by the city in May this year, with Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti in attendance.
But yesterday, Sotashe said the beneficiaries were not happy.
“The involvement of DA councillors JP Smith and Belinda Walker in the development without informing council is suspicious, as is the city’s agreement with the so-called developers. It must be the beneficiaries who decide what they want to do with the land,” said Sotashe.
He said that, of the 150 families involved, 43 had decided to take the land instead of the R17000 monetary restitution.
He said according to the deal between the trust and the developer, the trustees will get only 15 units out of 75.
“The agreement also stipulates that they should sell 10 units for between R2.5-million and R12.5-million, and rent out the remaining five or use them as holiday homes. This is prime land, this is an opportunity for reintegration; these people must be allowed back onto their land,” Sotashe said.
“We were not there when the deal was made but some of the beneficiaries are not happy, which means that there is a problem.
“Almost everyone staying in that place is Jewish and we are told that even this development company is run by the Jew,” he said.
But Smith hit back, saying: “To make such comments against me is totally unfair. I am repeatedly on record encouraging them to move back but it is entirely their decision . You cannot move them and force them to come and live in Sea Point if they don’t want to.”
The DA refused to comment yesterday.