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City cleared more than 21 500 illegal occupation pegs, 4 500 vacant structures in Kraaifontein <p>In July 2020, just in the Bloekomsbos area of Kraaifontein alone the City has removed 21 500 pegs which are used to plot out sites for illegal occupation as well as 4 500 vacant structures. The latest land and community facility to fall is the Tygerberg Raceway land. The theft of the raceway land in the Bloekombos vicinity and destruction and theft of all property on that land is strongly and utterly condemned. The City calls on further immediate assistance from the South African Police Service and the arrests of those who are instigating these destructive and violent invasions. Attempts to invade projects in Wallacedene, Bloekombos, Delft, Mitchells Plain, Dunoon, Milnerton and various projects and land earmarked for services in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Hout Bay and in the Helderberg continue. </p><p>The City acts to protect its projects and land that has been earmarked for the expansion of basic services, land reserved for community facilities. It acts to prevent the extreme flooding that affects people who settle on floodplains and in wetlands. It continues to prevent the illegal occupation of land and stand up for those law abiding residents in our communities and or beneficiaries who have waited for many years for their housing opportunity.</p><p>‘We need to stand together and stand up for our law abiding residents and we will continue to do our best. A local government alone cannot prevent land invasions on this scale and this form of sabotage and terrorism on its own needs a heightened intergovernmental response. The level of violence that occurs and that is perpetrated against our communities and our staff is absolutely shocking. I have written to the President to assist. I have met with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu where she gave the undertaking to assist, as well as emphasising that land invasions are illegal. We continue to engage with the Western Cape and National policing structures for assistance. I truly thank our safety and security staff and the SAPS where they have been able to assist for the efforts and putting their lives on the line to help protect our communities. We will continue to do everything in our power to prevent illegal occupations,’ said the City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato. </p><p>Since January 2019 and 14 June 2020, more than 26 000 plots and pegs have been cleared by the City to prevent illegal occupation. So, to clear 21 500 plots in the Kraaifontein area alone in July 2020 shows the scale of the challenge. </p><p>‘Land invaders attempt to jump the queue and this impacts the people already waiting for an opportunity and who are legitimately registered on the Housing Database. It also destabilises our communities. In last week, there were 11 attempted invasions in the Bloekombos area alone. We need members of the public to continue to report to us or the South African Police Service when they see people are clearing land for illegal occupation, placing pegs on the land to demarcate their plots or when they see crowds gathered and bakkies and trucks arriving with material they should please alert us.  </p><p>‘It is very clear when it is an orchestrated land invasion attempt and we simply cannot allow this. We do not have the resources to cater to new settlements forming overnight and this impacts our neighbourhoods and existing housing and services projects. We urge political parties, activist organisations and community leaders to please consider the bigger picture and to stop driving or condoning land invasions for short-term gain as the long-term impacts are immense,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi. </p><p><strong>Note:</strong><br></p><ul><li>R1,3 billion worth housing projects are under threat from land invasions. </li><li>Mahama Housing Project in Khayelitsha: we have lost land earmarked for 420 of the 1 100 opportunities to an illegal land invasion. Unfortunately 420 families who have waited patiently on a housing waiting list have had their rights undermined. The City does not have unlimited money and human resources. We need to be careful that we do not create more unplanned settlements which end up diverting the money that we have away from our planned projects. </li><li>From 2018 to date, 358 hectares of private and public land have been invaded in the City.  </li><li>R162 million water pipeline in Enkanini Khayelitsha and surrounds under threat.</li></ul><p>The City monitors attempts and act where it can. It uses aerial imagery to track attempts to occupy. It uses photographs and video to document operations. It makes decisions on operations in collaboration with a number of stakeholders, including the SAPS and the relevant law enforcement operations. It follows the rule of law and as all metros do in the rest of the country, it attempts to thwart land invasion as it becomes flood-, fire-, health- and safety risks for the occupiers and the broader communities. </p><p><strong>Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:</strong><br>Residents can give anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity that is taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.</p><p> <br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2020-08-02T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#0d8b7293-a214-43fa-80da-d843dd6f8e82;L0|#00d8b7293-a214-43fa-80da-d843dd6f8e82|human settlements;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#cee98527-2114-4029-8173-aee474e6c8a5;L0|#0cee98527-2114-4029-8173-aee474e6c8a5|land invasion;GP0|#1b05f64b-82b6-48ff-9032-784fac58cf97;L0|#01b05f64b-82b6-48ff-9032-784fac58cf97|executive mayor1

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