Nomzamo squatters offered alternative land

Lindiwe Sisulu said the land will offer stability to those who have been forcibly removed.

Hundreds of squatters in the Nomzamo informal settlement have been left destitute after being forcibly removed from a privately-owned piece of land. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has offered alternative land for the people evicted from the Nomzamo informal settlement, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday.

Hundreds of informal settlers were left destitute on Monday after they were forcibly removed from a piece of privately-owned land in the area.

Sanral maintains it was granted a High Court order for the forced removals earlier this year.

The roads agency maintains the illegal squatters were timeously informed that they needed to vacate the land meant for a project along the N2 highway.

Addressing the media at a conference in Parliament, Sisulu said the alternative land will offer stability to the people who have been forcibly removed.

"I made the suggestion to them that perhaps it might be better to find a more permanent place otherwise six months down the line we will still be back to square one with the same problem."

Sisulu's announcement came after Transport Minister Dipuo Peters earlier indicated that the families would return to the disputed land.

The minister said an agreement has been reached with the community that the alternative land would be considered.

"Sanral has allowed us to use any piece of land that they have. Together with the leadership of the community, we agreed that we would dispatch a team to go and investigate."

The minister said the Ministerial Inquiry she has launched will investigate why people's homes were destroyed.

The inquiry will be led by advocate Denzil Potgieter with lawyer Barnabas Xulu providing legal advice.

Its members include former ANC Member of Parliament (MP) and chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee Annelize Van Wyk and former Democratic Alliance MP Butch Steyn who served on Parliament's Housing Portfolio Committee.

The inquiry has two months to report back on its findings.