Minister Simmers condemns invasion of units at the Forest Village development
I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempted invasion and occupation of houses at the Forest Village Housing Project, which occurred last night in Eersteriver.
It is alleged that a group of residents who were approximately 150 strong and from various areas such as Woodstock, Manenberg, Elsiesriver and Kalkfontein shared various messages on WhatsApp to encourage the invasion and occupation of these units.
At this stage it is estimated that 126 units were invaded. The extent of the damage is currently being ascertained and this will assist in determining what the cost of repairs will be. Last night the security ejected 80 occupiers, and today the Sheriff removed those who remained.
These attempts cannot be condoned, as it is counter-productive to ensuring that those who have been approved for a housing opportunity in this project, are unable to move in. In addition, it also causes unnecessary delays to the full completion of small work that still needs to be done to the units, and now with damage that would have to be repaired.
A case (Nr: 80/12/2021) has been opened with the South African Police Services (SAPS), so that those guilty of breaking the law can be brought to book. These invasions are pure criminality, and I will insist that those who participated face the full might of the law.
Those in genuine need of a housing opportunity should register at their local municipality and if they’ve already done so, should ensure that their details are up to date, particularly if contact information has changed since registration. Furthermore, they should enquire from their local authority when they will be afforded a housing opportunity. Residents must keep in mind that the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements do not administer the Housing Demand Database (HDD), instead this is done at a municipal level.
To date, this development has already benefitted in excess of 3 000 residents. Those whose living conditions has drastically improved are from the N2 Gateway, the Southern Corridor, from the local communities such as Eersteriver, Eersteriver South, Electric City, Faure, Dreamworld, Blue Downs, Malibu Village, Kleinvlei, Rosedale, Mfuleni and Fairdale, with a few priority cases.
As the Western Cape Government, we’re open to engaging any and all communities about grievances which they might have, however this should be done in a legal and meaningful manner so that concerns can be addressed.