Cape Town – To assist with the growing number of land invasions in the metro, the City has decided to earmark R16 million for private security to prevent such incidents.
The proposal was tabled at a recent Human Settlements portfolio committee meeting.
Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said: “It is a term tender that is in place and part of the risk and operational needs assessment of the City, as happens in local governments and government across South Africa. The security value is to safeguard a large number of programmes and projects for the communities, beneficiaries and the public good.”
Booi said the City would continue to do its best to prevent the illegal occupation of land.
“South African municipalities make use of private security firms, and those with specialised services. The City thus has various different security companies that fulfil required functions across departments, such as to augment its operations and human resources, to assist with the prevention of unlawful occupation and criminal activity, to safeguard projects and programmes that are to the benefit of qualifying beneficiaries, the community and the community of Cape Town as a whole.
“So it is not only illegal occupation oriented. All services are appointed through open, competitive tender processes, in accordance with the applicable legislation,” he said.
Since July, the City has overseen the clearing of 27 000 illegally occupied plots. It has demolished nearly 60 000 structures during anti-land invasion operations since July 11. “Cape Town has experienced hundreds of organised, well-funded and orchestrated unlawful occupations in 2020 already.
“It has experienced unprecedented numbers especially over the last four months, having experienced more attempts to illegally occupy than over the previous year,” said Booi.
Ndifuna Ukwazi community organiser Buhle Booi said: “They will be spending millions on private security and we feel this is against the public because of provisional services to the people.
“We feel the City should use its money and ratepayers money towards services and improvement of the lives of people. We feel this money should be going to service delivery and not private security.”