Kloof residents raise alarm over land invasions

Kloof residents are calling on the eThekwini Municipality to jail land invaders to send a clear message to would-be invaders.

FILE PICTURE: Land invaders believed to be from the Clermont area in Durban tried to invade a nature reserve in New Germany. One structure made of plastic was demolished by the municipal workers. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/Africa News Agency(ANA)

Published May 30, 2022


DURBAN - KLOOF residents are calling on the eThekwini Municipality to jail land invaders to send a clear message to would-be invaders.

This as residents grow frustrated over attempts to invade protected land close to their homes. The land is close to the Motala informal settlement.

The city is faced with the challenge of a growing population and not enough housing, which has led to a spate of land invasions and the mushrooming of informal settlements. It has been said the city has hundreds of informal settlements.

“An arrest should be made, that is what the municipality should do to send a clear message that this is not going to be tolerated,” said Mzamo Khuzwayo, a resident in the Kloof area, who said that last week the city’s land invasion unit had to deal with attempts to invade land close to homes.

He said land zoned as a protected area and belonging to the municipality was in the process of being invaded and grabbed to extend an existing informal settlement in Motala Heights. He said that in the past week they had noticed that several platforms had been dug up.

“We, as residents of Kloof, are deeply worried and have reported this matter several times to the land invasion unit. We will now resort to paying for private security to prevent people from illegally erecting structures on protected land.

“We fear the situation could easily get out of hand, and someone could get hurt. But at the same time, we cannot just sit and watch,” he said.

Khuzwayo said that while the municipality’s land invasion teams had stopped any construction from taking place, those looking to invade the land seemed intent on testing the unit’s resolve.

“This is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game between the land invasion unit and the residents of the informal settlement. It normally starts up every weekend – we suspect that it is because they know that the land invasion unit does not work on weekends. They start digging up these platforms, and when the unit shows up, they stop,” he said.

He said that as residents they had hired private security to protect the land.

“When that company was in place nothing happened, but we could not afford to keep a security company on site for 365 days a year looking after the land, as that is expensive,” he said.

“We know how this will end – they will build houses there and it will then be impossible to remove them,” he said.

The local DA councillor, Rajen Maharaj, said the invasions began in 2018.

He said people invaded the land, and the land invasion unit removed them, but they kept returning.

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said land invasion was a serious problem, and the municipality spent millions of rand each year trying to curb it.

“We are not going to stop our efforts to curb this. We are faced with a serious challenge with land that is government owned, or privately owned, or adjacent to nature reserves that is being invaded.”

Mayisela said the city was especially concerned that there were leaders who actively encouraged land invasions

“We appeal to communities to work with the city and alert us as soon as they see signs of an invasion so that our unit can stop it,” said Mayisela.


KZN man shoots 2 sons dead, injures 3 others and turns gun on himself in dispute over new bed