A land claimant from Protea Village has spoken out about the legal hurdles that 86 families have had to endure in order to return to their ancestral land in Bishopscourt.
During apartheid, the 86 households were forcibly evacuated from the area between Bishopscourt and Fernwood in Cape Town.
Barry Ellman, a member of the Protea Village Communal Property Association and one of the 86 land claimants, said the community’s struggle began with apartheid-era forced removals between 1959 and 1970.
According to Ellman, the 86 families filed a claim for the land in 1995, after the 1994 Restitution of Land Rights Act.
Ten years later, in September 2006, the land was handed to the community as a result of an agreement between the state and the City of Cape Town.
However, the Protea Village land claimants have faced a slew of judicial hurdles since then.
“We received the land, the transfer of the title deeds, on the 15th of June 2021 but you can imagine you’re dealing with a situation where you received the title deeds but in the back of your mind you’re now facing legal challenges.”
Ellman stated that their most recent legal fight was a High Court appeal by the Friends of the Liesbeeck River, who are seeking a reconsideration of the environmental approval for the construction of dwellings on the site.
He stated that the families are looking for a quick resolution.