575,000 families waiting on housing in Western Cape

Since March, there have been 87 protests over land and housing in various areas including Gansbaai, Hermanus, Botrivier, Riebeek Kasteel and in parts of Cape Town.

Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says his meetings with 25 municipalities over the past two days have revealed municipalities are not always allocating housing in line with the database. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Human Settlements Department says it can't prioritise land invaders over those who have been on the province's housing waiting list for years.

Since March, there have been 87 protests over land and housing in various areas including Gansbaai, Hermanus, Botrivier, Riebeek Kasteel and in parts of Cape Town.

WATCH: Mapping housing protests in the Cape

The Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has this week met with 25 municipalities in a bid to address widespread land invasions.

The department says there are 575,000 families on the Western Cape housing demand database.

Madikizela is concerned that municipalities are not always allocating housing in line with the database.

“Where people have genuine concerns, we must make sure they’re addressed in line with the housing database, we must apply the concept of first come first serve so that we don’t incentivise lawlessness.”

The MEC says he fears the influx of people into the province means the waiting list will continue to grow.

“The biggest problem we have in our province is the rate of the population growth due to migration. That’s why we always update our system to look at the demand that’s there.”

He says the province can only provide about 18,000 new houses per year but is implementing strategies to speed up the process.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)