Western Cape / 7 April 2015, 11:33am / Nabeelah Mohedeen and Yolisa Tswanya
Cape Town - About 100 residents from TR Section in Khayelitsha invaded a vacant piece of privately owned land near the Nolungile train station in Site C as threats of widespread land invasions were made on Monday.
Resident Rooi Nobatana said the people were taking the land “by force” because they had nowhere to go.
“We are paying rent in our siblings’ small shacks and there’s no space. If there is a fire in one of the shacks, the fire brigade cannot get to us and everything burns down.
“If the government can just provide us with this land then we will build our own houses,” said Nobatana.
Another resident, Nomzamo Nkolisa, said she decided to invade the land because they had not received answers after a seven-year wait for RDP houses.
“The houses that we are living in now are too small, we need basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity.
“We reported the lack of services and rat infestation to our ward councillor but nothing is being done.”
Nkolisa said she runs a crèche from her home and needed the space to run it effectively.
Mayco member for Human Settlements Benedicta van Minnen condemned the threats of a city-wide land invasion by the Ses’khona movement and the EFF.
“We condemn land invasions and the incitement to invade state or privately owned land in the strongest possible terms.
“Political instigators should start taking responsibility for the conditions that arise in settlements that are borne from invasions,” she said.
“I urge our residents not to be duped by organisations who claim to have their best interests at heart, while in reality they are actually driving a political or financial agenda.
“Some land invasions, which occur on a small scale and in an ad hoc manner, are borne purely of need – but others we consider to be orchestrated invasions and part of a general trend to invade both public and private land across Cape Town as part of a politically motivated campaign to make the city ungovernable.”
Van Minnen said authorities were not able to remove the people from the land as it was owned by Denel.
Denel’s spokeswoman, Vuyelwa Qinga, said on Monday: “We are not aware of the incident, but we will do our own investigations and see how to follow up with the situation.”
Ses’khona leader Andile Lili said he was aware that members from his organisation invaded land, adding that they will continue to do so until their demands were responded to.
“We don’t see anything wrong with it. We will take over any open land all over Cape Town, even as far as Atlantis and Grabouw. We have hundreds of thousands of members and the police will not have the capacity to control us.
“The government knows there are fires and floods and yet they don’t do anything.
“Our people need housing and it will be very difficult for them to stop us.
“We will overpower the police if they want to move us.”