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City to approach Concourt over unlawful occupations <p>Following the declaration of the state of national disaster, the City has observed an increase in unlawful occupation as well as an increase in a variety of makeshift structures and tented camps being erected throughout the metropole, including parks, environmentally sensitive pockets of land, road reserves, pavements, under bridges and between highway barriers. This has resulted in the unlawful occupation of large pockets of City-owned land earmarked for the development of public services. </p><p>Further, the Western Cape High Court judgment in the matter of South African Human Rights Commission v City of Cape Town and Others has severely curtailed the private property owners and the City’s ability to protect its land, leaving the City with few options to prevent and respond to unlawful occupations.  To this end, the City will be applying for eviction applications on 595 tented camp and land invasion hotspots.</p><p>These continued land invasions negatively impact on the City's ability to comply with its constitutional mandate. In 2017, there were 14 289 land invasions in the City. In 2018, that number had increased to 87 500 land invasions and by 2018, 232 8559 ha of City owned land had been lost to unlawful occupiers. By 2020, this figure increased to 241 4671 ha.  It is not only the City that is impacted by these largely orchestrated unlawful occupations. By June 2020, 338 743 ha of State and privately owned land in the City had been unlawfully occupied, of which 73% is City owned land. An additional 25,5 ha of City land has been lost in 2021.  In order to regain the use of unlawfully occupied land, the City must approach the courts to obtain eviction orders in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE). The City finds itself in an untenable situation as a result of the DMA Regulations. The City’s ability to protect its property is severely curtailed, the unlawful occupations are an extreme health and safety hazard for unlawful occupiers, some of whom have occupied dams, wetlands, nature reserves and waterlogged land, and the City is called on to provide emergency housing to unlawful occupiers before it can access its land to deliver services, including housing and sanitation to the thousands of residents who have not taken the law into their own hands. Most of the unlawfully occupied land is not suitable for human settlements or the installation of bulk services and have great constraints. Basic services are grant funded for new infrastructure. The City (via rates funding) contributes to operating and maintenance cost for informal settlements. Resources are not unlimited. </p><p>The President and the Minister of Co-operative Governance have not responded to the City’s requests to engage in respect of the upliftment of the DMA Regulations. The City therefore has no alternative but to apply to the Court to have the regulations set aside.</p><p><br><strong>End  </strong><br></p>2021-10-26T22:00:00ZGP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City newsGP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

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