City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said: “I am disturbed by the scenes of violence and lawlessness. While the city supports the right to protest, we condemn in the strongest terms illegal and violent protests which threaten the lives of our residents and cause costly damage to infrastructure and services. Every rand that is spent repairing damaged, burnt or vandalised facilities or infrastructure is money that could be spent on providing housing to those who wait patiently on the city’s database.
“I am informed the protest was triggered by the execution of an interdict to prevent the illegal occupation of private land. The city had received a request from a private landowner to assist in the protection of his land against illegal occupation,” Booi added.
Dozens of incomplete and unoccupied structures, which were in the process of being erected, were demolished. The city further condemned land invasions on both private and city-owned property as these actions are illegal and consequently impact on service delivery to other residents.
“Every time we see the illegal occupation of land, we undermine fair and systematic processes amid very high demand for accommodation brought on by continued rapid urbanisation. When land is invaded, or when attempts are made to occupy land illegally, we move backwards rather than forward,” Booi said, adding that the city of Cape Town was mindful of the acute need for housing opportunities across the metro.
“We are making every effort to address this matter and to provide services within a planned and fair manner, wherever possible within the constraints such as available budget, suitable land and community dynamics that are being experienced.”
– African News Agency