City of Cape Town obtains urgent interdict against ’land grabs’ in District Six
Cape Town - The District Six Working Committee (D6WC) has renewed calls to speed up the restitution process following a growing trend of land occupation in the area.
Since the end of March, there have been at least 75 makeshift structures and 24 tents erected across District Six.
The City of Cape Town has since obtained an urgent interdict in the Western Cape High Court against the invasion of restitution land, which has been earmarked for beneficiaries who were forcibly removed from the area by the apartheid government.
Law enforcement can now immediately remove people found to be in contravention of the order, and to demolish any incomplete and unoccupied structures.
The order further restrains any person from entering the properties for the purposes of unlawfully occupying or invading, erecting, completing or extending any structure on the properties and occupying any vacant structures.
It also prohibits people from intimidating, assaulting or in any way interfering with the work of officials, councillors and law enforcement.
The D6WC said in a statement on Sunday that while it understand that landlessness and poverty are complex historical issues, it cannot condone land grabs in District 6.
Committee spokesperson Karen Breytenbach said the land grabs rob legitimate claimants, who have taken the painstaking legal route of their hard-won rights.
“Our claimants, who have fought for years for their restitution, are right at the point of return. We cannot and will not allow their determination to be derailed now. We commend the City of Cape Town for attempting to protect the rights of rightful beneficiaries.
“We hope the national government will step in as well to ensure the successful finalised restitution of the people of District 6 very soon.
“We have several older claimants in their 80s, 90s, even 100s, who don’t deserve any more delays,” said Breytenbach.
She said the committee has spoken to some of the illegal land occupiers and understand some of them were promised RDP homes decades ago, and some were even former District 6 residents. “Others are opportunists, some are even criminals, who perpetrate petty crimes in the area.”
Mayor Dan Plato welcomed the granting of the interdict. “The City has liaised with all landowners in the area and authorities remain on high alert.
“The City will do absolutely everything in its power and within the law to continue to protect the rightful beneficiaries of District 6.”