Despite decrease in land grabs, WC govt spends over R53m on security

The Western Cape Human Settlements Department said since April its spent over R53 million to secure state land.

FILE: Police on the scene of a land invasion in Somerset West. Picture: @senkamin/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - While there appears to have been a decrease in land invasions in Cape Town, the provincial government on Wednesday said millions still had to be spent on security.

The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements said since April, it had spent over R53 million to secure state land.

Since last July, there've been 1,305 land invasion attempts across the Western Cape.

The department said there had been fewer than 10 land invasions a week at state-owned properties in Cape Town over the past three weeks.

This month so far, there've been a total of 26 attempts to occupy land, which is a drop. Last month there were 49 invasions.

MEC Tertuis Simmers said: “Although the low reductions are welcomed, it shows our security structures in place are working. The high security expenditure of over R53.8 million remains concerning. More than three housing units could have been built.”

He's pleading with people who don't have houses to rather register on a housing database.

But the numbers keep growing and outstrip the provincial government's ability to build bricks-and-mortar homes.

The housing backlog in the Cape is sitting at nearly 600,000.

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