Land grabs pose risks, warns Patricia de Lille

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille told councillors the land in question is often uninhabitable - posing fire, flood and health risks.

FILE: Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: CapeTalk.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says there have been more than 60 land invasions and protests across the city in recent days.

Addressing a full sitting of the city council on Wednesday, De Lille warned land grabs pose risks.

She told councillors the land in question is often uninhabitable - posing fire, flood and health risks.

Meanwhile, a thwarted land invasion in the Hermanus area last week has become a political football with the Democratic Alliance (DA) blaming the African National Congress (ANC) for the unrest.

A satellite police station, a library and at least two vehicles were torched. And shops were looted in the Zwelihle community.

The DA has produced what it says is photographic evidence of two ANC officials exchanging WhatsApp messages apparently plotting further land grabs on private properties.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has also been accused of fuelling the land grab.

The party’s Bernard Joseph said: “It’s quite clear that the people have a challenge pertaining to housing and human settlements in areas where they live, and the council has failed to make a plan. It’s only correct for the community to mark the land for themselves.”

PROTESTS FOR LAND

ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore has denied claims he was part of a plan to incite violence in the Hermanus area.

Dugmore has on Wednesday addressed a media briefing after the DA released a statement alleging the ANC was behind the protests for land by Zwelilhe residents.

Dugmore says he welcomes any motion against him.

“The ANC in the Western Cape has just rejected these ludicrous allegations by the DA. Khaya Magaxa, the acting ANC provincial leader, has indicated that what lies behind these baseless allegations is that the DA over 10 years has failed to release land.”

At the same time, the Western Cape Human Settlement MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says land reform is at the root of his department’s budget tabled on Wednesday.

“It’s really about land reform and wealth creation, particularly for previously disadvantaged individuals. The point we’re making is that if you want to speed up land reform, deal with two issues that include giving people title deeds.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)