Over R53m spent to secure state land from illegal occupation - WCHSD

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

The informal settlement of Lockdown has sprung up on and around the Metrorail's central line in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

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

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

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

The department said that 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 has been a total of 26 attempts to occupy land, which is a drop.

Last month there were 49 invasions.

MEC Tertius Simmers: "Although the reduction is welcome and our strategies to secure our land is working, the high security expenditure of R53.8 million since April remains concerning. More than 350 BMG units or free housing units could have been built."

He pleaded with people who did not 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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