Just over 1,000 land occupation attempts in past 9 months in WC - dept

The department said that the majority of these occurred in Cape Town, between July last year to the second week of April in 2021.

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 Western Cape Human Settlements Department said that there had been just over 1,000 attempts of illegal land occupations over the past nine months.

The department said that the majority of these occurred in Cape Town, between July last year to the second week of April in 2021.

The department said it had now spent more than R355 million to prevent illegal land occupations and the occupation of completed units.

MEC Tertius Simmers said that this meant with the exclusion of the bulk services, more than 2,100 free housing units could have been built.

"These illegal land [occupations] remain of great concern to the Western Cape government because they impact on our ability to deliver housing opportunities to already identified, deserving, qualified and potential beneficiaries."

He said that at the same time, the department was currently in court seeking to ensure that the legal remedy of counter-spoliation.

This, he said, recognised an owner's right to immediately retake possession of unlawfully seized property, without approaching a court first, as the provincial government deemed this as both constitutional and necessary.

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