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WATCH: Land occupiers sell plots for a pittance in Cape Town

31 May, 02:38 PM

Having parted with R300 each to "people from the local committee", two Cape Town women were all too willing to share their excitement as final touches to their shacks were made before they could move in.

According to the women, they paid for the structures in a deal they concluded with people who claimed to have the authority to sell them.

Sandwiched between the N2 and Baden Powell Drive in Khayelitsha, the sandy, low-lying piece of land they now occupy is a flurry of building activity.

"When you do not have a job, it is better to have your own place... The landlord will demand their money whether you have it or not when you are renting," Tamara Sebenzo told News24.

The City of Cape Town has recently experienced a spike in land invasions that have made headlines due to public violence and general civil disobedience.

Almost all the densely-populated locations have seen backyarders and shack dwellers invading any vacant spot they can find in Grassy Park, Gugulethu, Philippi, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

According to the South African Police Service, there have been about 145 protests in the City of Cape Town in 2018 so far. This shows a 73% increase in protest action, compared to the whole of 2017.

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille reported that the City has dealt with more than 65 land invasions over a six-day period in the month of May.

In addition, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith has said that the City's Anti-Land Invasion Unit usually removes more than 15 000 illegal structures and pegs per annum.

In the first four months of 2018, more than 26 000 structures and pegs have been removed.

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