56 claimants lodged a land claim with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights in 1997. With the help of the Surplus People’s Project, former Oukloof residents were able to gather all the necessary documentation proving they once occupied land in Riebeek Kasteel.
Rather than claim for restoration of their dispossessed properties, the claimants wanted monetary compensation and the title deeds of the municipal rental houses they had occupied since moving to Esterhof in 1965.
Many Ouklowers were tired of being uprooted and had made peace with where they lived now.
The Malmesbury municipality however argued that since the majority of the claimants were in arrears with payments for rates, housing and services, titles deeds would not be given until these debts had been settled.
Many residents recall how the Village Management Board had promised them they would receive titled deeds to their Esterhof properties after a period of 10 years. This never happened.
The Commission took the position that financial compensation would be used to settle the arrears with the municipal authority and then allow them to acquire full tenure security.
The final financial compensation was R980 000, which was split amongst 56 claimants. In the end, each family only received R17 500.
For many of the former Oukloof residents, they regarded the compensation as “too small” in comparison with the much higher value of land today.
Krisjan Daffnee recalls that he was not satisfied with the amount on offer “ but it was December and everybody became desperate to have something rather than nothing.”
In 2000 the claim of R17 500 was paid out to each of the 56 claimants. All outstanding debt with the municipality had to be settled before they could obtain title deeds to their homes.