'What about Mount Pleasant?' - Now another Hermanus community also demands land

2018-05-18 12:51
Mount Pleasant, Hermanus. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Mount Pleasant, Hermanus. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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A new group of Hermanus protesters took to the streets on Friday, littering roads and setting fires, demanding that they too be given land.

This after representatives from the Zwelihle community, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements and the Overstrand Municipality signed an agreement of intent, where land would be made temporarily available while housing negotiations for a permanent solution continued.

Read: Hermanus protests halted as agreement over land reached

The Zwelihle residents had been protesting on and off for almost two months, demanding land, with the matter coming to a head on Thursday when they demanded to meet with Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, who had been to see them previously. 

Madikizela has since announced that the owners of Schulphoek - the site the Zwelihle residents wanted - had agreed to sell the land on condition that there were no more land occupations. The deal, however, was still subject to a valuation process and price comparison. 

But now residents of the neighbouring suburb of Mount Pleasant are unhappy, saying they have been waiting for land far longer than those in Zwelihle.

'What about us?'

When News24 visited the scene where about 1 500 people were protesting, some were shouting slogans in the road, such as "Schulphoek will be sorted out tomorrow, what about us?" and "They (Zwelihle) have a nice taxi rank, not us".

Hermanus protest. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Stun grenades were fired to move protesters who were setting up a burning barricade at the turn-off to Schulphoek Road.

Mount Pleasant community leader Desiree April said they had been promised so many things over the years, but nothing had materialised.

"We are unhappy. The Zwelihle people... within two months, they gave them spots to build shacks. Now I'm asking, what about Mount Pleasant? What about our children...? We've got such a lot of plots here that can be used to build houses. Why don't they come and give us the plots? We are still struggling to get proper houses," she said.

It is understood that Schulphoek was to have been developed for luxury homes, with many conditions attached, such as infrastructure provision.

Also read: Hermanus Schulphoek land owners agree to sell amid protests

When Madikizela was asked how much the landowners wanted, he would not say, but responded that it was more than R34m. A valuation would properly determine the price, however.

In the meantime, nobody is allowed to start building on, or settling on the land, because a complex procedure involving environmental impact studies, infrastructure provision, and the confirmation of those who qualify to move on to the land is still to be done.

Hermanus protest. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Read more on:    bonginkosi madikizela  |  cape town  |  housing  |  land expropriation  |  protests

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