Criminal charges laid after doors damaged in attempted occupation of billion-rand Cape Town housing project

2019-05-29 22:43

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Criminal charges have been laid against a group of people who damaged 100 doors in an attempt to occupy vacant units of the R1.1bn Forest Village housing development in Eerste River, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers said on Wednesday.

This, after provincial department officials spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning addressing the grievances of those behind the action, which was thwarted by housing staff who went to liaise with the protesters while the Red Ants secured the site, which is currently under construction.

Simmers said it was alleged that residents from neighbouring Mfuleni had attempted to occupy 200 units, resulting in the damaged doors.

"We have also opened a case with the police so that those guilty of breaking the law can be brought to book," Simmers said in a statement.

"I would like to urge residents not to act in a lawless manner. Illegal occupations cannot be condoned as it hampers the delivery of houses to the very people that need it most."

The housing project, situated over 30km outside the city centre, commenced in January 2016. Expected to be completed by the end of 2020, the development will yield 4820 units.

In April, busloads of people attempted to illegally occupy the vacant homes.

Police as well as law enforcement officials intervened as hundreds of people protested in the streets.

Simmers urged those who need housing assistance from government to register at a local housing office.

"Residents that are already registered should ensure that their details are up to date, particularly if contact information has changed since registration," he said.

He would visit a number of development sites to ascertain its current status and engage with residents, Simmers added.

"We remain committed to having meaningful engagements with communities, so that we can come up with innovative solutions to the various housing challenges faced in the province."

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  crime

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