Land invasions affect us all

2018-11-13 06:01

When land is invaded, we are all affected. Illegal land invasions are affecting our service delivery plans, our social stability and the financial planning of the city. For this reason, the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to prevent City-owned land from being invaded.

City land in particular is being targeted, but private land, especially large tracks of unfenced, unsecured land is also under threat.

Since the beginning of the year, land invasions have been taking place on an unprecedented scale, and mostly in an orchestrated and organised manner.

It must be emphasised that we are talking about trucks and bakkies arriving with material for hundreds of structures to be erected at one time.

If we are able to do so, we remove the unoccupied illegally erected structures immediately.

Due to the large scale of the invasions, limited operational availability from City Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service’s Pubic Order Police who must assist the City, we are not always successful in halting every invasion.

This shortfall is leading to the creation of new informal settlement areas which have not been planned or budgeted for. The illegal connections that are then made to the electricity and water networks further compromises the well-being of the entire Cape Town community. Invaded land also becomes a fire and flood risk, putting the lives of land invaders and their children at risk.

The City remains committed to improving the lives of our residents in informal settlements, but land invasions place our programmes at risk.

In total, more than R2bn has been earmarked for spending on informal settlements and backyarder services in the current financial year.

This includes the upgrading of informal settlements; the installation of taps and toilets; the repairs, maintenance and servicing of toilets; the City’s unique janitorial programme; and new electricity installations.

This amount does not include all money spent on backyarder and informal settlement programmes.

The City is currently reassessing some of its processes to see how our anti-land invasion operations can be optimised, and to enhance partnerships.

Please call the City’s emergency number by dialling 107 from a landline or 112 toll-free from a cell phone to alert the City about land invasions on City-owned land especially.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water, waste services and energy

Illegal land invasions are affecting our service delivery plans, our social stability and the financial planning of the city. For this reason, the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to prevent City-owned land from being invaded.

City land in particular is being targeted, but private land, especially large tracks of unfenced, unsecured land is also under threat.

Since the beginning of the year, land invasions have been taking place on an unprecedented scale, and mostly in an orchestrated and organised manner.

It must be emphasised that we are talking about trucks and bakkies arriving with material for hundreds of structures to be erected at one time.

If we are able to do so, we remove the unoccupied illegally erected structures immediately.

Due to the large scale of the invasions, limited operational availability from City Law Enforcement and the South African Police Service’s Pubic Order Police who must assist the City, we are not always successful in halting every invasion.

This shortfall is leading to the creation of new informal settlement areas which have not been planned or budgeted for. The illegal connections that are then made to the electricity and water networks further compromises the well-being of the entire Cape Town community. Invaded land also becomes a fire and flood risk, putting the lives of land invaders and their children at risk.

In total, more than R2bn has been earmarked for spending on informal settlements and backyarder services in the current financial year.

This includes the upgrading of informal settlements; the installation of taps and toilets; the repairs, maintenance and servicing of toilets; the City’s unique janitorial programme; and new electricity installations.

Please call the City’s emergency number by dialling 107 from a landline or 112 toll-free from a cell phone to alert the City about land invasions on City-owned land especially.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water, waste services and energy
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