Land grabs

There has been a tense standoff Saturday afternoon as backyard dwellers at Gustrouw in the Strand clashed with Cape Town police.

Metro Police thwarted attempts to occupy a nearby field. Some claim they were given the go-ahead by their local ward councillor to start erecting shacks.

Resident John Daniels says, “We are all backyard dwellers, all of us and we are sick and tired because we pay R3000, R4000 rent per month and that is not fair.”

Some say they have been on the waiting list for housing for over 30 years.

The IMC on #LandReform has taken proactive measures to address challenges of conflict that emanate from land reform process, by identifying the root causes of conflict that tend to include land invasion, land eviction, contestations on grazing and farming rights…

— David D Mabuza (@DDMabuza) November 26, 2020

“They promised the people will get land, but they never gave the people the land. And Middleton, gave them permission that within 24 hours the land will be theirs, but now he is not here,” says Johannes Bosch of House of National Khoisan Kingdom.

The City of Cape Town says it was tipped off about the potential land invasion at Gustrouw in the Strand on Friday, and deployed a monitoring vehicle.

Members of the anti-land invasion unit and law enforcement were activated when people started pegging the site.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith says they are engaging with the community.

“Teams were activated immediately from the anti-land invasion unit and law enforcement engaged the community that had invaded the housing site due to bad communication they have made contact with the former developer and arranged with the community to have a meeting.”

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