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CoCT sees major spike in land invasions, says housing opportunities under threat

Over the past three months, the city has seen a sharp increase in illegal land invasions and has recorded 115 protests.

People take their building materials away as workers (not visible), break down uninhabited shacks in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, in Cape Town on 6 August 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is reporting a major increase in land invasions, recording 252 such actions since the start of lockdown.

In September alone, authorities have dealt with 147 illegal land occupations in and around the metro.

Over the past three months, the city has seen a sharp increase in illegal land invasions and has recorded 115 protests.

Mayco member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi, said that in an average year authorities had to dismantle around 15,000 illegal structures.

But during the months of lockdown alone, that number jumped to 60,000.

Booi said that they needed help dealing with the issue.

"We need a consolidated effort on all fronts and also getting assistance from the communities at large. We're also calling on the South African Police Service to come to the fore and assist us."

Land invasion hotspots include Khayelitsha, Makaza and Philippi.

Booi said that a number of housing opportunities were also under threat and some had vanished into thin air.

"The housing opportunities that are under threat is about R1.3 billion that we have in Khayelitsha alone, along Baden Powell Drive that was invaded. It was supposed to give a yield of about 11,000 [homes], only on that particular precinct."

He said that land earmarked for another housing project in Makaza was invaded, meaning there was now no space for the more than 400 homes that were planned for the area.

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