ANC Statement on the Land protests in Hermanus
ANC in the Western Cape condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of critical infrastructure and violence accompanying the community protests for land in Hermanus in the Overberg Region in Western Cape. The leaders of these protests have acknowledged that certain elements who are not part of these legitimate community protests took advantage of the protests and set alight libraries and police stations and private vehicles and as the ANC we ask the law enforcement to deal with these elements decisively and bring all responsible to book.
The ANC however would like to state it categorically that we support the community call for prime land to build integrated and quality houses. This is the cause we have been fighting for over and against a DA government that fears integration. We have watched over the period of the DA's control of the municipality in coastal towns like Hermanus, Caledon, Grabouw, a troubling phenomenon that has made these towns meaner and more divided. The DA municipalities have been relentlessly selling off municipal land to make room for silos of luxury safe-deposit boxes across these towns further entrenching the historic division between where the rich and where the poor live.
As the ANC we have seen emergence of investment units, sold to overseas and local elites and never inhabited for most of the year, substituting community for vacancy. This means the more we build, the more our cities are emptied, producing dead swathes of zombie enclaves. These moves by the municipality have created deep resentments within communities where private developers are left unchecked, going off the rails with local leaders misguided into allowing a great mortgage mirage. These schemes have cause irreparable harm to our towns and cities.
All DA runned Municipalities, led by the City of Cape Town have been allowing this selling off of municipal land to private developers to balloon beyond all reason, in the hope of creaming off the fat of developers’ profits for the so called public good.
ANC calls local authorities in Hermanus to start being pro-active in their manner of governing and not allow their authority to be usurped by an illicit relationship between the DA and private developers. All development must have a bias of creating a more inclusive Hermanus not one that entrenches the divisions of the past.
The Mayor and Local leaders must do everything in the interest of their own people and must always consult with them for any development in their town.
As the ANC we also call on the Land Imbizos to begin in earnest so that our people can have a sense of timelines and land allocations for inclusive low cost housing for themselves and their children.
Statement issued by Faiez Jacobs, ANC Western Cape Provincial Secretary, 27 March 2018