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Khayelitsha residents hope court will allow them to stay on land

The more than 200 people face being booted off the land. Now residents have approached the Western Cape High Court for an interdict against the city.

FILE: Law enforcement on Wednesday completely destroyed all the structures built by Khayelitsha residents who illegally invaded a piece of land in the township. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Some Khayelitsha residents are hoping a court allows them to continue staying on land they've been occupying since February.

The more than 200 people face being booted off the land.

Now residents have approached the Western Cape High Court for an interdict against the city.

Andiswa Kolanisi is one of the residents who decided to build a shack on a vacant piece of land in February this year after she could no longer afford to stay in the backyard of a Khayelitsha resident.

They call the area the Island Informal Settlement.

Kolanisi says there were no signs or fences to indicate it's private property, so they didn't think they were doing anything illegal.

Since then, the City of Cape Town's anti-land invasion unit has attempted to remove the occupiers several times, but Kolanisi says they just kept erecting their home again.

“They must stop demolishing our houses because those houses, those shacks, they call them shacks, they are our homes, our children’s homes.”

Civic group, the Social Justice Coalition is helping the residents with legal representation.

Meanwhile, the city says it obtained a court interdict in September last year to prevent further occupation on the land after about 13 structures were erected in August.

The city says the Island residents were made aware of the interdict but they continued with their occupation.