Picture: Eye Witness News (EWN)
As many as 500 people started chopping trees and erecting shacks on a piece of land invaded near the Nolungile Railway Station in Khayelitsha, in a move said to be coordinated by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
CapeTalk presenter Kieno Kammies spoke to EFF’s Western Cape leader Nazier Paulsen and The City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Housing Development, Benedicta van Minnen around the legalities of land invasion.
Paulsen said that what is currently happening is the direct result of the City of Cape Town and the government of the Western Cape inability to respond to the massive housing needs that exists. He continued to say that the government in the Western Cape treats people like animals.
Paulsen responds to whether what the EFF is doing is legal was:
It should be illegal for people to live in very harsh conditions that ultimately lead to their own deaths, depriving people a quality way of life, I think that’s illegal
In the end Nazier Paulsen agreed that according to the South African law what the EFF is doing is illegal.
According to Van Minnen the city of Cape Town is currently having a housing shortfall of 268 000. Van Minnen responded to EFF as:
Nazier is quite right. It should be illegal to deprive people of a quality way of life and that is what he is busy doing by driving this kind of land invasion and by insuring that people are not sitting in a position to get housing from the City which has a coherent and equitable system of doing housing because they are occupying land which is making it difficult for everyone to plan and construct housing going forward… Nazier is doing exactly what he says should be illegal
There are also reports that the EFF also warns that it will target the city’s leafy suburbs for land occupation, presumably Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Rondebosch Common.
Van Minnen also mentioned that the city is planning to roll out sites to people which will allow them to build their own homes. She also said that they are currently in liaison with the private sector and banks to assist them
On The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes on Tuesday Nazier Paulsen gave corrections to what is reported as land invasion by the EFF.
It is not land invasion but land occupation. Land was invaded 1652, 363 years ago. what is happening now people are taking back what is theirs.
Listen to the full interview below: