CoCT: Illegal land invasions not only happening in Empolweni

The Khayelitsha community went to court last week after their homes were demolished. The Western Cape High Court order allowed 49 structures to be re-erected on the city-owned land.

City of Cape Town's Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi at a meeting. Picture: @CityofCT/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town (CoCT) on Thursday said that the Empolweni informal settlement was not the only area where people were attempting to illegally occupy land.

The Khayelitsha community went to court last week after their homes were demolished. The Western Cape High Court order allowed 49 structures to be re-erected on the city-owned land.

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

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

“It’s not Empolweni residents, it’s a new section where they’re trying to build structures. They’re taking advantage,” he said.

Many of these people were backyarders and were forced to leave their homes because they had lost their income due to the nationwide lockdown.

The city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi, said they had also seen attempts to settle on land in Philippi.

“We are working directly with police and SANDF to make sure all those areas are cleared,” Booi said.

While evictions were prohibited during the lockdown, the Department of Human Settlements emphasised that land invasions remained illegal.