Cape Town - Clashes between Red Ants, police and backyard dwellers in Strand broke out after about 30 shacks erected on private land were removed earlier on Wednesday.
The land occupation began on Monday following disputes over alleged promises to move the residents from all informal settlements overlaying power lines. Residents began to mark out plots on vacant land opposite the N2 near Reddam House school. They claimed that the privately owned land, belonging to ASLA Construction, had been barren and vacant for over a decade.
Earlier in the week, ASLA CEO Werner Jerling told other media that the land was actively managed and monitored. Werner also said they were aware of pegging which had taken place early last week.
“As a private landowner, we became aware that the markings constitute more than a casual interest by others and have accordingly obtained a court interdict against persons with any form of illegal intent on the land.”
Weekend Argus spoke to newly-formed Land Party premier candidate, Loyiso Nkohla who was at the scene. Nkohla told Weekend Argus that the people had been promised electricity and to be moved from the area close to the power lines.
“As the Land Party we are here to support the people, we told them to relocate themselves if the City of Cape Town refuses to do so. They then identified suitable land and they did just that,” he said. By yesterday (Tuesday) about 30 shacks were put up but there are thousands of people here because it is backyarders from the whole Helderberg area who are affected. People are tired of empty promises,” he said.
Nobomvu Njoli, who lives in a shack in Nomzamo, said they had been asking for the land for years but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“We need houses, we get the usual empty promises. We have now decided to take the land because even the government has been promising to get back the land from the white people but it still remains with them. What are we expected to do, where are we supposed live? We will not sit around and watch vacant land not being used and accept being told that it is owned by a white person in our country,” she said.
IOL will stay abreast of the story and provide updates when available.