City of Cape Town Says Land Invasions are Seemingly “Orchestrated”

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The City of Cape Town (CoCT) says that they will be acting against what they describe as seemingly orchestrated invasions of land and the illegal occupation of CoCT projects.

The CoCT says that many of the invasions have taken place on land dedicated to conservation or for CoCT projects. It says that the invasions and illegal occupations prevents opportunity for rightful beneficiaries and delays the building of various community facilities.

In a statement released on Monday, the city says “together with law enforcement agencies, we are doing our best to thwart the attempts but it is mostly large-scale, well-planned, well-funded and orchestrated invasions. Actions to prevent the invasions or illegal occupations are also being met in some areas with extreme violence, destruction of property and the breaking down of community facilities,”.

According to CoCT, the majority of the most flooded informal settlement areas in Cape Town, resulting from the recent storm, are newly invaded settlements on land that has not been earmarked for housing as the land is not suitable because it is a flood plain or wetland.

The City is currently fighting legal battles in court regarding land invasions and illegal occupations.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) represented by the pro-land invasion Legal Resource Centre, has requested an interdict against the City of Cape Town which will prevent them from carrying out any anti-land invasion operations. The SAHRC is also asking that all existing court orders that prevent certain sites from invasion, be deemed void.

The CoCT says, “Encouraged by those shouting for the City not to act against land invasions and illegal occupation, many now see this as a green light to go and invade land, community facilities and City projects,”

In its statement, the City says other allegedly orchestrated attempts to illegally occupy land, City projects or community facilities were in areas such as Mfuleni and Khayelitsha, Wallacedene, Delft (Blikkiesdorp), Dunoon, Firgrove (Macassar), Milnerton and Nyanga.