Siqalo residents demand City of CT buy the land they live on

The locals stay on privately-owned land along Jakes Gerwel Drive in Mitchells Plain.

FILE: The Siqalo informal settlement in Cape Town is erected on private property. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A group of about 300 Siqalo informal settlement residents have marched to the Civil Centre demanding the City of Cape Town buy the land they live on.

The locals stay on privately-owned land along Jakes Gerwel Drive in Mitchells Plain.

The municipality has provided residents with some basic services on the periphery but is unable to do more because it does not own the property.

In their demonstration to Mayor Patricia de Lille's office, the group was supported by the Ses'khona People's Rights Movement.

The movement's Andile Lili said they delivered a letter requesting the city to purchase the plot.

"The owner of the land is willing to sell it for the people to the City of Cape Town. We are expecting the city to install services like water, toilets and sewage."

De Lille says the city will await a court ruling before taking any action on land occupied by Siqalo informal settlement residents.

De Lille's spokesperson Pierrine Leukes said, "The Siqalo land is private property and it is therefore not for the City of Cape Town to be done with it. This matter is currently before the court, and it is therefore sub judice. The city has done what the court has ordered, which was to do a survey of the land and now we will await the court date."