Committee to address illegal land invasions

Officials have been struggling to keep people away from property that does not belong to them.

FILE: Nomzamo rubble after forced evictions on 4 June 2014. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN -The South African Police Services (Saps) will be establishing a priority committee to deal with illegal land invasions across Cape Town.

City of Cape Town officials have been struggling to keep people away from property that does not belong to them.

Violent scenes erupted at the weekend when police and law enforcement officials moved in to remove families from city owned land in Khayelitsha.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says the mayor met with police representatives earlier today.

"Authorities are in the process of implementing a priority committee around the issue in which the city will participate in. This is to ensure the structured release of land to people on the housing waiting list and that people are not allowed to queue jump by illegally invading land."

Last week, several informal settlers in Philippi were evicted from privately-owned land.

Police and city officials moved into the area to remove numerous shacks.

Several shacks were taken apart, sparking clashes with residents.

The evictions follow the controversial evictions at the Nomzamo informal settlement in Strand.

Hundreds of Nomzamo residents were evicted from their shacks by officials in June.

The South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral), the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have all deflected the blame for the violent evictions.

Sanral maintains it had obtained a High Court order for the removals as the residents were occupying privately-owned land earmarked for a project involving the N2 highway.

This prompted Human Settlements Minster Lindiwe Sisulu to set up the Nomzamo Commission of Inquiry to probe the process of the forced removals.