Capri and Fish Hoek residents have signed a petition urging the removal of “illegal squatters” on Black Hill.
“Residents request that action be taken against the increasing number of squatters occupying illegally built shacks on Blackhill,” the petition reads.
The residents claim they have recorded incidents where the informal dwellers have been found in possession of stolen goods and drugs.
The illegal structures are damaging the natural environment, the petition states, “with litter and garbage all over the mountain”. In addition, “squatters defecate openly”, the petition states.
The residents have also attributed a loss of property value to the informal dwellers.
“The reasons we request action is that escalating crime in the surrounding areas has reached epidemic proportions. Failure to take swift action will result in the number of squatters continuing to escalate, making the situation far worse than it is at present,” the petition states.
Fish Hoek police had not commented on these claims at the time of going to print.
Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, says the City of Cape Town has received similar complaints. “The City’s Law Enforcement department investigated on Monday 15 August. Officers found three makeshift structures that had been erected on the land, but observed no people in the area at the time,” he says.
“This land is privately owned and it is therefore the land owner’s responsibility. Open tracts of land are always vulnerable to illegal settlers and, as such, even if the City or a private landowner removes people, there is a risk of resettling if the property is not secured.”