Thursday, December 22, 2022

Additional security deployed to safeguard WC land and development sites

The Western Cape’s Human Settlements Department has, during this festive season, allocated additional security to secure and protect its land and development sites.

This comes after the department experienced more than 1 600 invasions of land earmarked for human settlement development across the province, in the past three years. During this same period, more than 100 Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses were vandalised by illegal occupiers. The Department also works closely with authorities to act swiftly to prevent unlawful attempts to invade land and illegally occupy BNG houses.

Infrastructure MEC, Tertuis Simmers, says his department spent just over R100 million to secure its properties and to prevent invasions for the past 3-year period. He added that an additional R24 million has also been spent repairing vandalised houses.

The MEC described the vandalism as ‘concerning.’

‘’It is deeply concerning that the money spent on securing land and repairing vandalised houses could have been used to build over 700 BNG housing units for Western Cape citizens.

 “The impact of invasions and illegal occupation of BNGs, results in the damaging of units that costs the Department additional funds to fix and secure the projects. It can take up to 3 months and more to fix those damages. It also delays delivery to the rightful owners of the houses. Illegal occupations ultimately do not only hamper our ability to reach our targets, but more importantly, severely delay the delivery of housing opportunities to deserving beneficiaries. It saddens me that much of the money spent to secure our sites and developments could have gone to providing more houses for deserving people.”

Simmers has called on communities to report any illegal activities during the festive period.

‘’The Department calls on community members to assist in preventing land invasion, illegal occupation and vandalism of BNG houses. Should any resident notice any suspicious activity on open or state-owned land, or at a government housing development in their area, please report it to SAPS, the City of Cape Town’s Anti Land Invasion Unit or the Western Cape Government’s Settlement Control Unit.’’

 

 CITY OF CAPE TOWN ANTI-LAND INVASION UNIT - 021 480 7700

 

WESTERN CAPE HUMAN SETTLEMENT CONTROL UNIT - 021 826 5701

 

‘’Land invasions and illegal occupations hurt the most vulnerable in our communities and mean that qualifying beneficiaries have to wait much longer to receive their homes. These incidents severely impact the Department of Human Settlements’ ability to deliver housing opportunities to already identified, qualifying and deserving beneficiaries, that have been patiently and legally waiting on the Housing Demand Database (ie. waiting list) for assistance,’’ concluded Infrastructure MEC, Tertius Simmers.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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