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City of CT officials battling with people trying to occupy land illegally

The Khayelitsha community went to court last week after their homes were demolished, despite a prohibition on evictions during the lockdown periods.

A general view of Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, on 31 March 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said Empolweni was not the only place where people were attempting to illegally occupy land.

The Khayelitsha community went to court last week after their homes were demolished, despite a prohibition on evictions during the lockdown periods.

The High Court order allows 49 structures to be re-erected on the city-owned land.

However, the city's anti-land invasion unit has this week returned to the site because more people were building structures.

One resident said several people from the wider Khayelitsha community were now trying to build homes near the Empolweni site.

“It's not Empolweni, it’s a new section where they’re trying to build structures. They're taking advantage"

Many of these people were backyard dwellers and were forced to leave their homes because they lost their income due to the lockdown.

The city's Malusi Booi said there had also been attempts to settle on land in Philippi.

"We are working directly with police and SANDF to make sure all those areas are cleared."

While evictions are prohibited during the lockdown, the Department of Human Settlements has emphasised land invasions remain illegal.