Update on Schubart Park

In compliance with the Constitutional Court judgment of 9 October 2012, the parties held a series of intensive meetings and in June 2013 considered comprehensive packages to deal with the allocation of alternative accommodation pending the resolution on the longterm plan for Schubart Park residents and the future of the complex itself.

The process of negotiations between the City and erstwhile residents of Schubart Park has progressed to the point where 388 of the families have been provided with alternative accommodation.
This has been the result of the process of negotiations that started a year ago after the Constitutional Court ruling that the resident had a right to return to their homes in the inner City housing scheme and that both parties should negotiate the detail in a process of ‘meaningful engagement’.

As a step towards resolving the issues between the parties, the parties agreed that Reverend Frank Chikane would be appointed as a post judgment moderator. It was further agreed at the outset that the City and the Residents would follow a three pronged process focusing on: - 1. The identification of all persons who were entitled to return; 2. The provision of alternative accommodation over the short term; and 3. Seeking agreement on the long term accommodation of the residents.

The parties are in agreement that, despite all the difficulties encountered in the negotiations, substantial progress has been made.  69 families who have been verified await alternative accommodation and the process of vetting persons who claim to have lived in the Schubart Park buildings in September 2011 continues. .  As the vetting process continues this number will be increased and allocations will take place on a rolling basis.

Short-term plan and identification process
The initial process undertaken by the parties was the identification of the former Schubart Park residents.  Three open registration periods were held during December 2012, and January and March 2013 and 648 families registered as former residents.  268 of these families were positively identified from records of both the City and the residents. 375 registered families were required to undergo an additional vetting process.  The vetting process is currently ongoing and 147 families have submitted their documentation thus far.  Of these, 147 families, 86 families have been identified as possible former residents.  The vetting process is ongoing and should be finalized by December 2013.

The positively identified former Schubart Park residents will pay an agreed amount towards the cost of their accommodation  and service and will sign contracts with both the City and landlords.

Further the parties have agreed on a process for the resolution of any disputes that may arise. In case of those residents who cannot be positively identified, they too will be able to declare a dispute with the relevant dispute resolution committee once the identification processes have been completed.

Long-term plan
The City has been in consultations with the residents regarding a range of viable options, which included demolition or refurbishment of the Schubart Park buildings with a view to restoring them into sustainable accommodation.  The parties agreed that the long term solution will be the refurbishment and administration of the building within the context of the social housing programme.

The buildings will be refurbished in terms of designs that will adapt the buildings to be a modern day mixed development precinct including both social housing and rental stock to cater for the returning residents.

The City further shared its broader vision of redevelopment of the site with a more futuristic thinking guided by a new growth trajectory and the special development direction which takes the City development forward.

The City of Tshwane and the Schubart Park residents are pleased that the matter is progressing. Both parties are committed to ensuring compliance with the order of the Constitutional Court and the agreements reached towards its full realization.
The parties are thankful to our facilitator Rev Frank Chikane for his sterling work.