The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation has expressed concern at land invasions that have taken place in the City of Cape Town. The invasions, which appear to be orchestrated because of the simultaneous nature of these illegal acts, took place in Dunoon, Mfuleni, Strand, Khayelitsha and Kraaifontein.
Under the dispensation occasioned by Covid-19, the Regulations are clear: there may not be any evictions or invasions of land. Even under normal circumstances evictions have to follow due process and invasions are outlawed. The Minister has expressed herself on a number of occasions publicly and to the communities who suffer from the evictions, that the evictions are illegal and have had the effect of taking away the human rights of the persons affected.
The pieces of land being invaded are earmarked for government projects. These include providing housing for qualifying beneficiaries who have been on the waiting lists for a long time and who have patiently waited for their turn.
“Taking away this land deprives the poorest of the poor their right to decent accommodation. We therefore call on law enforcement agencies to act decisively to halt the land invasions in the City of Cape Town and anywhere else where these may occur”, Sisulu said.
The Minister believes that those who invade land should swiftly be dealt with and removed to prevent anarchy from spreading to other municipalities. Sisulu is also concerned that land invaders put themselves at a greater risk of contracting and spreading the Covid-19 virus. The pieces of land that are invaded do not have basic services such as water and sanitation. These services are absolutely essential in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
The Minister has made herself available to work with distressed communities to find solutions. She therefore urges affected communities to work with her office in finding solutions to their circumstances and to cease these invasions, because they are outside of the law. Taking land that belongs to people who are equally distressed is illegal and unconstitutional.
Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
Govan Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria