CoCT: Land invaders are stealing housing opportunities from the poor

The City of Cape Town said that the expenditure on security for land invasions was justified.

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 said that land invaders were stealing housing opportunities from the poor.

The municipality earmarked R16 million for private security to curb land grabs.

About three months ago, within a space of about two weeks, more than 20 land invasion attempts were reported across the city in areas including Mfuleni, Khayelitsha and Milnerton. Most of them were accompanied by violence.

The city's Malusi Booi on Tuesday justified the expenditure.

"This is part of our service delivery. People are erecting shacks where we are supposed to build. If you go to Bloekembos in Kraaifontein, we were supposed to build 1,658 houses. It's filled with informal structures. Is that not hindering service delivery? They are stealing opportunities from the poor who have been waiting too long on the waiting list," he said.

"Just go to Khayelitsha, along Baden Powell [Drive]. We have an investment of more than half-a-million rand there. What has happened? Opportunities have been stolen there by these people who are invading land. We're supposed to build over 12,000 housing opportunities in that area. Those opportunities are gone."

Booi said that they were putting the interests of citizens first.

"Tomorrow people of Khayelitsha and Bloekembos are going to stand up and protest and say 'where is the City of Cape Town', [and that] we don't prioritise them. But those opportunities that we are going to bring there as part of service delivery, those opportunities have been stolen by those who have invaded land. It's not acceptable, and it's justified."

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.