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Empolweni land invasion undermines 11 000 Enkanini residents and Khayelitsha as a whole <p>​A major bulk water supply project is underway on the illegally invaded land in question.</p><p>‘That site is very crucial for the future of Khayelitsha. If we lose the site, people will complain about inferior services, low water pressure from taps. That is the reason for this supply line to the tune of R162 million,’ said Executive Mayor Alderman Dan Plato.</p><p>The City is currently installing a 6,3km pipeline from Faure to Khayelitsha along Baden Powell Drive. Land invasions are halting this project intended to strengthen bulk water supply to the whole of Khayelitsha. </p><p>‘This will not only impact basic services to 11 000 Enkanini residents, but it is also crucial to the assurance of water and sewerage supply in Khayelitsha as a whole,’ said Mayco Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg.</p><p> ‘We can’t build houses without bulk services infrastructure. It will create major problems for the entire Khayelitsha,’ said Riana Pretorious, the City’s Director: Informal Settlements.<br> <br>In terms of a High Court order, the City of Cape Town is permitted to remove any new illegally erected structures on the land in question. This is besides 49 structures which the court allowed to remain on the land in Empolweni temporarily until the matter is heard in full. </p><p>Despite the court order, Law Enforcement has been dealing with near daily land invasion attempts at the property, including on the day of the incident in question.</p><p>‘There has never been an eviction on that site, we are dealing with land invasions. As the local sphere of government, we must act on invasions, it is only evictions that are not permitted. Mr Qolani is not part of the 49 structures as per the court order, his name does not appear there,’ said Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi.<br> <br>Video footage filmed by law enforcement officials shows Mr Bulelani Qolani to have been initially clothed at the time of the operation, and not taking a bath in his structure as reported.</p><p>‘There is a video taken by a Law Enforcement official, precisely so we could have evidence in the case of allegations. And Mr Qolani is visible, clothed, standing outside during the operation to remove five illegal structures. The City really does not tolerate the loss of dignity that occurred. However, footage shows Mr Qolani comes out of the structure naked without any Law Enforcement official near him. He does it independently, holding a piece of paper in his hand,’ said Mayco Member for Safety and Security Alderman JP Smith.<br> <br>Mayor Plato has announced that independent investigators will probe the circumstances around the anti-land invasion operation at Empolweni, Khayelitsha.<br> <br>‘Despite reports that Mr Qolani purposefully undressed in an attempt to prevent the anti-land invasion operation from taking place, I do not condone the undignified and shameful circumstances surrounding this incident. We will await the findings of the independent investigators in this regard. I have asked that this matter be concluded by no later than Friday, 10 July,’ said Mayor Plato.</p>2020-07-03T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#cee98527-2114-4029-8173-aee474e6c8a5;L0|#0cee98527-2114-4029-8173-aee474e6c8a5|land invasion;GP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security;GP0|#a83e4cc6-6869-4ccb-a6ef-366f36e76fb8;L0|#0a83e4cc6-6869-4ccb-a6ef-366f36e76fb8|Informal settlement;GP0|#352cb5da-6a34-4bf4-959d-14dc8987a2b4;L0|#0352cb5da-6a34-4bf4-959d-14dc8987a2b4|water and sanitation1

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