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Ennerdale land grabs: JMPD officers demolish shacks

Residents arrived at a vacant piece of land in the southern suburb last week and started building on Monday, claiming they could no longer wait for the government to give them land and houses.

Ennerdale residents illegally erecting shacks on a piece of land. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Members of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) have demolished shacks and confiscated building material in Ennerdale where residents have illegally occupied land.

Residents arrived at a vacant piece of land in the southern suburb last week and started building on Monday, claiming they could no longer wait for government to give them land and houses.

Last year, a violent protest which started in Ennerdale over a lack of houses spread to Eldorado Park, Finetown, and Lenasia - resulting in shops being looted and demonstrators being handcuffed.

Some have spent the last of their money on building material to erect the shacks on vacant land in Extension Nine, but on Tuesday afternoon they're left with nothing.

Farouk Jardine who mobilised the illegal occupation says the community will continue to grab land because they don't see it as a criminal offence.

“They don’t even know their own Constitution, the Constitution says if you erected the shack, they must go to court.”

But the JMPD's Edna Mamonyane says residents are breaking the law.

“We are allowed to take down a structure as long as people are not living in it.”

Residents have vowed to also occupy another piece of vacant land in Extension Six if government fails to fast-track plans to help families.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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