At Sixes and Sevens

At Sixes and Sevens

Why has the resettlement of Cape Town's cause celebre, District Six, proved so intractable for so long?

Ongoing disagreements between the City of Cape Town and two groupings representing former inhabitants of District Six are holding up redevelopment of this internationally symbolic site.

Fourteen years after the process of land restitution began, and five years after Nelson Mandela handed keys to a first group of returning residents, only 25 of around 2800 claimant families have moved back to the District.

While the process was never set to be completed in a hurry, the knots tied by the latest antagonism won’t easily be loosened – the huge open space that’s been fought over for decades may remain vacant on Table Mountain’s lower slopes for some years yet.

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