Land Claims Victory for Cape Flats Families

A 21 year battle will finally come to a close when 85 houses will be developed in Bishopscourt for the families of residents who were forcefully removed in 1965 by the apartheid government. These families had their properties taken from them and had been relocated to areas on the Cape Flats including Manenberg, Lotus River, Lansdowne, Steenberg, Retreat and Heideveld.

The majority of the claimants lived in cottages built in the 1880s to house the men and their families who built the road from Groote Schuur to Hout Bay. David Wilson, a claimant and a member of the Protea Village Communal Property Association (CPA) said the claimants – whose ancestors built the Church of the Good Shepherd on Rhodes Drive – were excited to finally have reached this point.

In 2009, the Bishopscourt and Fernwood residents, tried to stop the land from being given back to its original owners, but lost. They claimed that giving the land back is an invasion of their privacy and the land claimants will make a noise. The man that led the process to stop the land claims, William Booth, sold his property after they lost the case.

The signing ceremony, to mark the handover of the properties to its original owners, took place on the 18th of June 2016, at the Church of the Good Shepherd.