Farmers at Avondrust Farm, on the urban edge of Kraaifontein, have told the provincial government they are at the mercy of land invaders. Picture: Helpus Save Our Farm/Facebook
Cape Town - Farmers at Avondrust Farm, on the urban edge of Kraaifontein, have told the provincial government they are at the mercy of land invaders.

Avondrust owner Alfred Borcherds said his farm was invaded by a group of people in September. Borcherds said there had subsequently been instances of shops being looted in Kraaifontein and farm workers’ homes being petrol bombed.

“This took place after the anti-land invasion group broke down some houses and shacks built on our farm adjacent to the land belonging to the municipality,” Borcherds said.

He said farming had become “unbearable and impossible”.

A document compiled in April by the provincial Department of Community Safety explains in detail how farmers in the area are harassed, intimidated and threatened daily.

Drama first unfolded last year when the City of Cape Town applied for an eviction order to have the land invaders removed.

In October, the City’s land invasion unit tore down the illegal structures on the land owned by the City adjacent to Avondrust Farm. The removal of the illegal structures resulted in an attack on the farm workers surrounding Avondrust.

A mob of protesters also moved into the Kraaifontein CBD and a Shoprite was damaged in the protest action, according to the document.

The document also details a number of other facilities close to Avondrust affected by the invasion.

Ronel van Graan, who runs a small homeschool academy next to Avondrust, said the explosion of informal houses had a direct impact on the safety of her family.

“This has a direct effect on my students' safety on a weekly basis. The pollution is a huge problem and spread over the area,” Van Graan said.

Department spokesperson Cayla Murry said: “Following a complaint received from the Borcherds family, the head of the Department of Community Safety requested an investigation into the mentioned land invasion and is still awaiting the report on the matter. The normal protocol demands that the official tasked with the investigation obtain all relevant information and only once this has been obtained can they draft a report for consideration by the head of department.”

Mayco member for human settlement Malusi Booi said he was aware of the Borcherds’ complaints.

“This was an illegal land invasion on private property. The farm owner obtained an interdict to prevent entering and/or the completion of incomplete structures on their property. The owner, with the help of the office of the sheriff and public order police service and a private security company, cleared their farm from illegally erected incomplete and unoccupied structures.”

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Cape Argus