Another land grab in Durban

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Since the Land Act of 1913, the ANC Government has only managed to redistribute seven percent of agricultural land, and has continually missed its own targets.

JOHANNESBURG – Hundreds of people have occupied open land in Silverglen, south of Durban.

Residents living in backyard rooms in Umlazi say they decided to occupy the land, which belongs to the eThekwini MunicipalIty because they have no place to build or extend their homes.

People are demarcating their chosen sites on which to build homes.

Some say they have been living in backrooms for years and now need their own land to build on because their families have grown.

The land in question was identified as “well-located” by those responsible for the invasion.

“This land must be occupied by people, because in Umlazi we are so squashed. Even when you look at the area, you might think it’s a dumping area and we still have unoccupied land," one resident told eNCA.

“The places where we live were meant for goats, not humans. It’s so mountainous, and we don’t even have yards and we can’t extend [our homes]. The only solution was to move to this land, which has been not used for many years.”

People say that they were told the land is for nature reserve, when they moved into the space.

READ: Cape Town land invasions at record high: De Lille

Meanwhile, the eThekwini municipality admits it is facing a serious housing backlog.

City officials say part of this land belongs to the Silverglen Nature Reserve.

Authorities are in the process of obtaining a court interdict to stop land invasions.

“We have to seek a court order… soon and interdict them to stop invasions,” deputy mayor Fawzia Peer said. “With the court order, we can have criminal charges [instituted] against them and arrest them.”
Residents vowed to continue until they are provided with proper accommodation.

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