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Dept concerned about land invasion

Human Settlements has condemned a group of people for invading privately-owned land.

People invade a piece of land which belongs to Old Mutual in Marconi Beam near Milnerton. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Human Settlements Department on Friday expressed concern over the illegal occupation of a piece of vacant land in the Marconi Beam area near Milnerton.

Dozens of people plan to start erecting shacks on the land which is located in an industrial area.

The property is owned by Old Mutual.

The City of Cape Town said it could not take action because the property is privately-owned.

The department's Nathan Adriaanse said, "We're always concerned when people take the law into their own hands. We are strongly opposed to the invasion of vacant land."

However, the land invaders said they are desperate for homes.

"I need a house right now," one man said.

"We don't have money to rent. We need houses," said another.

The province has a housing backlog which dates back to over 20 years.

The department received nearly R2 billion for the 2012/13 financial year to help reduce the backlog.