Lwandle evictions must stop - minister

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IOL gallery Lwandle 7 done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Lwandle residents scramble under razor wire to retrieve their belongings after they were evicted by force on Monday. Picture: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - Evictions at Lwandle near Strand in the Western Cape must be put on hold, the transport department said on Wednesday.

“Minister (Dipuo) Peters undertook to issue a directive to Sanral to withdraw the court order while short and long term solutions are sought to resolve the challenges at hand,” spokesman Tiyani Ponto-Rikhotso said in a statement.

“To this effect, the affected families would be allowed to return to the land they were evicted from pending discussions regarding long term solutions to their challenges.”

He said the human settlements department and the transport department committed to engage with the provincial government and the City of Cape Town to find solutions for the people evicted.

“Minister Peters and Minister (Lindiwe) Sisulu emphasised the need for institutions of government to take responsibility for the welfare of communities they serve and desist from apportioning blame on others.”

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said while the people would be allowed to settle temporarily, government does not encourage illegal occupation of land.

A delegation visited the area on Tuesday and were briefed by the human settlements department in the Western Cape, Sanral and representatives of the community.

The department said that after a visit, the ministers agreed that Sanral and the city could have handled the dispute and the whole relocation process differently.

Her spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said Sisulu would visit the area on Wednesday to see what assistance government can give those affected.

“She will visit the area today (Wednesday) to look at how to resolve the problem,” he said.

She was expected to appoint a chairperson for the enquiry before Sunday, he said.

“The minister wants this to be completed as soon as possible.” - Sapa

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