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‘Shack farming’ will turn Khayelitsha into Africa’s Colombia, says forum

While many communities are fighting for housing and service delivery, 'shack farming' involves individuals erecting several shacks on illegally occupied land with the intention of either selling or renting the structures.

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

CAPE TOWN - There are concerns over a rise in “shack farming” which involves people selling or renting land that’s been illegally occupied.

The Khayelitsha Human Settlements Forum has raised the alarm amid a spate of land invasions.

The action has led to violent clashes with police and other law enforcement agencies and, in some cases, local councillors and their families have become targets for those demanding houses.

The Khayelitsha Human Settlements Forum fears illegal land invasions are being hijacked by opportunists who are trying to rake in money through “shack farming”.

While many communities are fighting for housing and service delivery, “shack farming” involves individuals erecting several shacks on illegally occupied land with the intention of either selling or renting the structures.

The forum’s Manelisi Mampana said: “The land invasions and shack farming have the great potential of turning Khayelitsha into Africa’s first Colombia. This will retard development already achieved.”

He said that it was high time that the shortage of housing was treated with the urgency it deserves.

The forum proposes the details of all vacant land parcels in Khayelitsha be declared publicly, including what the land is earmarked for and who it's owned by.

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