Zwelihle land clearance starts ahead of schedule

2018-05-18 17:18
Protests in Hermanus. (Supplied by Marthunis Barnard, MyWhaleCoast)

Protests in Hermanus. (Supplied by Marthunis Barnard, MyWhaleCoast)

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The Zwelihle community leaders who helped broker a settlement over land to stop protests in Hermanus said they were surprised that people were already clearing land to build on, after a carefully brokered agreement that they hold off until plots are divided and allocated. 

"We don't know where they got that mandate," said spokesperson Theron Mqhu on Friday.

According to an agreement reached on Thursday night, the Overstrand municipality's engineers would start a fast-tracked land survey process on Saturday.

Mqhu said this was to mark out equal-sized plots and hasten the installation of water and electricity points.

In the meantime, a list of beneficiaries would be consulted to decide who should get a space first, depending on families' circumstances and special needs. 

This is expected to be discussed at a meeting set for Saturday with the community. 

He said some people were clearing vacant land in Mbeki Road, and in Schulphoek, a vast plot that the government will buy for Zwelihle residents' housing, if the price is right after valuation.

READ: Hermanus protests halted as agreement over land reached

The current asking price is more than R30m, said Western Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, who would not give the exact asking amount. 

It was purchased in around 2010 for about R6m, with very strict conditions regarding infrastructure development.

It is currently co-owned by Leslie Viljoen and the Rabie Property Group and is walled off. Part of the agreement to sell is that there are no "land invasions".

The Rabie group is known for massive developments in places like Cape Town's Century City, and Schulphoek was destined to be a luxury development.

It is on the Hermanus seafront, with views and rock pools.

In the meantime, stun grenades were fired earlier when some of Zwelihle's neighbours in Mount Pleasant blocked part of the R43.

They said they had also been waiting decades for housing and better services, but in two months Zwelihle residents' demands had been met. 

The two suburbs are about 1.5km out of the Hermanus CBD and are separated by a sports field.

Read more on:    cape town  |  land

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