Land invasions on state-owned properties over the last three weeks in August 2021 has consistently been below 10 incidents per week. In week one of the month, there were 8 attempts, followed by 9 in week two and another 9 during the third week of August 2021. All attempts, which amounts to 26 occurred in the Cape Metro and none in the non-Metro municipal areas. This is lower than the 49 attempts which occurred during July 2021.
Between July 2020 to date, there’s been 1 305 attempts of land invasions across the Western Cape.
I’d like to thank all stakeholders, particularly community members who’s assisting us in combatting these illegal activities. This demonstrates what can be done when we all work together to combat events and activities that are detrimental to our society. While we have seen this decline in attempts, I would like to encourage all stakeholders to continue to be vigilant.
Although the reduction is welcomed and shows that our strategy to secure our land and properties is working, the high security expenditure of over R 53, 8 million since April 2021 to date, remains concerning. More than 320 Breaking New Ground (BNG)/free housing units could’ve been built (excluding bulk services) with this amount.
Land invasions have a direct impact on our ability to deliver housing opportunities to already identified, deserving, qualifying and potential beneficiaries that have patiently and legally been waiting on the Housing Demand Database (HDD).
I’d like to remind all landowners, both public and private to secure and protect land and other properties against these invasion attempts, and to open criminal cases against those who are encouraging, leading and participating in these unlawful activities. It is important that the criminal element face the full might of the law.
As the WCG, our counter-spoliation matter, which recognises an owner's right to immediately retake possession of unlawfully seized property, without approaching a court first, will be back in the Western Cape High Court in October 2021. The protection of this legal remedy is critical, as we deem this as both constitutional and necessary.
We encourage those in need of a housing opportunity to register on the housing demand database and if they are, they should verify and update their details. This can be done on the WCG App which is available on all iOS and Android platforms for download or they can visit their nearest housing office. In addition to this, they should also engage the relevant structures such as Project Steering Committees (PSC’s) and Ward Councillors to receive factual human settlement project related information, and not allow themselves to be misled.
This will only lead to disappointment at the hands of dubious individuals who do not have their best interests at heart. These individuals seek to disrupt and break our communities down by offering false promises and inaccurate information. Government has no such vested interest – we are there to uplift and serve you.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.