Over 4 000 land invasions dealt with in 2017 – Solly Msimanga

Tshwane mayor says it is important to note that not all cases can be dealt with

Over 4000 land invasions dealt with in 2017

12 October 2017

Since January 2017 the DA-led multi-party administration of Tshwane has attended to a total of 4406 land invasions throughout the city.

Of the 4406 unlawfully erected structures the City of Tshwane has demolished 3161 of them. In so doing we have identified land parcels to move our residents either to temporary serviced stands or permit dwellings pursuant to legislation governing evictions.

Specifically, between January and June 2017; 2744 complaints of land invasions were attended to and 2271 of those structures demolished.

Additionally, in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year (July – September 2017) 1662 complaints were dealt with and a total of 890 unlawful structures were demolished.

It is important to note that not all land invasions can be dealt with due to some of the land being owned by other spheres of government or private owners which complicates the process to some degree.

The repeated spate of land invasions and the violent nature in which they manifest is to be condemned. While we fully appreciate the frustrations of residents in our City, the unlawful seizure of land does not in fact help but serves to exacerbate hardship down the line. This is because it distorts the housing backlog and makes it unfair for those residents who have been waiting patiently, some of them since 1998.

As such we call on residents to not allow themselves to be used as political pawns for an ANC in Tshwane that cannot accept its electoral defeat. In so doing we encourage them to work together with the new administration that is working tirelessly to ensure that all eligible people get access to the housing they require and not just the connected few as was seen throughout the ANC’s tenure in Tshwane.

Meeting the demand for housing remains one of the City’s biggest challenges as can be evidenced by the existence of informal settlements. Under the leadership of this DA-led multi-party administration we have committed ourselves to speeding up the eradication of informal settlements (Project Tirane) and to promoting security of tenure through the provision of proper housing opportunities.

The main strategic focus for housing development is on creating sustainable housing which is located close to economic opportunities. This is highlighted in the Tshwane 2055 Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) compaction and densification approach to combat urban sprawl and increase economic sustainability. Various obstacles to achieving sustainable housing are outlined within the GDS:

- The rate of formal housing delivery is not keeping pace with the expansion of informal settlements;

- The formalisation of existing settlements is a lengthy, complex process;

- Informal settlements do not comply with Building Regulations;

- Inferior access to social facilities such as libraries, public amenities and clinics; and

- Inferior transport facilities and infrastructure.

The law enforcement agencies will continue to monitor land invasions throughout the city.

Suspected land invasions should be reported at the Tshwane Metro Police Control on 0826119974 (24hrs)

Issued by Samkelo Mgobozi, Spokesperson to the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, 12 October 2017