This is the politics in South Africa – the political parties promised free housing, services, schools and after the elections there are only empty promises. Why do people vote them from those PROMISES PARTIES? Invaders – how many of those are immigrants and who are really citizens of South Africa? There are more than one “invasion” and different invasions – also between Klerksdorp and Stilfontein.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba commented on the violent protests against land invasion in parts of the city.
Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has called for the urgent intervention of the police in Lenasia South and surrounding areas following unrest over land grabs.
Unrest followed on Saturday when police fired rubber bullets to break up a standoff between homeowners and shack dwellers near the K43 on Narans Farm. Mashaba’s spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said the situation was getting out of control and that tensions in the area were escalating to the point where it is only a matter of time until someone was seriously hurt or killed.
“Residents in the area have reported armed groups of land occupiers firing on their homes within the affected areas. The situation is such that the JMPD, with its comparatively limited public order policing resources, cannot handle the situation alone and requires the full might and cooperation of the South African Police Service.
Mfeka said that while Mashaba was sympathetic to the plight of those who did not have land, illegal land occupation and threatening the safety of other people and their property could not be accepted.
LenasiaSouthProtest situation now as residents await to be addressed by Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile and Tasneem Motara of Planning and Infrastructure
The Gauteng government says it will approach the courts in a bid to get an interdict against land invaders in Lenasia in the south of Johannesburg. On Saturday, police fired rubber bullets to break up a stand-off between homeowners in the area and shack dwellers. Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile has promised residents that the government is working on a solution to assist both parties.
Following unrest, Maile says they will be approaching the courts to ask for an interdict against any further illegal land occupation in Lenasia. “And some of those eviction orders have not been executed; so, that’s the other thing we’ve established.” Tensions have been high in the area between homeowners and those who have built shacks in the area.
Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara says government will need to find money to address the housing crisis in the province. “If it needs engagement with the National Treasury and national departments responsible for things related to this, municipalities and all, we’ll have to engage further.” The MECs have promised they will return to the area with an update on a way forward.
CLAIM: Hundreds of city residents staked their claim on the open piece of land behind the West End Cemetery over the weekend. Picture: Danie van der Lith
IT WAS a free-for-all on the weekend when hundreds of city residents staked their claim on the open piece of land behind the West End Cemetery in Finlayson Road.
The land, which was earmarked for a R300 million student village, has been standing vacant since May 2014.
Residents marking out their erven yesterday were quick to point out that it was not a land grab or land invasion.
“We are just taking what rightfully belongs to us – what was promised to us,” one man, John Ntielang, said yesterday.
Ntielang said he was born in a one-room structure and 32 years later was still living in a one-room structure. “I share the ‘house’ with my mother, father and children. There is no privacy. We bath in the one room, we sleep in the same room, we relieve ourselves in that one room and then we have to cook in that same room. What kind of a life is that?”
Ntielang pointed out that since the end of apartheid they had been promised land to erect homes. “We are now in the sixth government and we still don’t have land.”
Ntielang added that the new informal settlement, which residents had already dubbed “Rhythm City”, was open to one and all.
“This is not politically motivated. You will see people with their ANC, EFF and even DA T-shirts marking out their piece of land. This is all about landless people who want a decent way of life.”
This is just the start, Ntielang and other residents said. “We will be driving all around the city and seeing which land is not occupied and then we will start erecting our structures.
“The residents here today were promised land near Zingisa Primary School. But what happened? The black elite bought it and townhouses are now being erected on that site. This is happening everywhere. That is why we are moving in before more land gets taken from us.”
The residents said that if anybody tried to remove them from the land they would feel the might of the people. “You thought the shutdown of the city was bad. We will not only shut down Kimberley but the entire Province. We will wait for Cyril (Ramaphosa) to come and remove us.
“At this point no title deeds will be handed to anybody. The land belongs to everyone.”
Other residents in the area said they feared for their safety. “We don’t know what will happen. The prices of our properties will also be driven down as a result of this action.”
However, Ntielang reassured those residents. “Everybody’s safety is paramount. By having people staying on this land more people can feel safe.”
Sol Plaatje municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said that the local authority was aware of the “land invasion/unlawful land occupation”.
“The municipality is on record that it condemns such actions. We have even on several occasions obtained court interdicts against unlawful occupiers of such areas,” Matsie said.
He added that in some cases these portions of land, which are privately owned, hampers development – as happened with the proposed mall development that was thwarted in Galeshewe.
“Not only is the township robbed of economic spin-offs but it remains impossible for the municipality to develop or even build houses on private property.”
Matsie also urged landowners to take “full responsibility” for their land.
“They should fence it off and seek legal recourse as the municipality won’t take responsibility for any illegal actions. They should also demarcate and put up visible signs that the land is private.”
He reminded residents who want access to land that there is a procurement process and areas available that the municipality could make available through the proper channels.
“Unfortunately we are unable to intervene as the land does not belong to the municipality. It is up to the land owner to approach the law enforcement agencies, themselves,” Matsie added.
In May 2014 the sod was turned to start construction on the student village. Exactly a year later the contractors abandoned the site without a foundation even having been laid.
The student village was advertised by Vee Jay Project Managers, “on behalf of the Northern Cape Urban Further Education and Training College”, as providing accommodation for 1 600 students from the Sol Plaatje University, nursing colleges and the NC Urban FET College.
The Sol Plaatje City Council had approved the application for the project in 2014, although the college denied that it was in any way affiliated to the project.
The project manager at the time promised that the first 32 residential blocks would be completed by January 2014.
AS OWNER OF A PROPERTY IT WILL COST YOU TO TAKE ACTION AND IT CAN BE MILLIONS OF RAND TO DO THAT
In order to define land expropriation within the context of Section 25 of the Constitution, one must distinguish between deprivation and expropriation.
Expropriation can be seen as a subcategory of deprivation: Arbitrary deprivation of the owner’s property. In this sense arbitrary means that the deprivation was not preceded by negotiations that accommodated the deprived party.ⁱ
Many experts claim that the contra-Constitutional dialogue was nothing more than pre-election speech. On the other hand, certain residents have questioned whether it is indeed time to question the Constitution.
The public debate has been highly publicised. Inaccurate media reportage left some South Africans with the impression that the law has been altered. This is not the case.
What to do if land grabbers threaten to take possession or expropriate your land
You need to apply for an urgent interdict at your nearest competent court. This may order those who threaten you to not set foot on your property or expropriate it. Contact your attorney for legal advice in this respect. Anyone who contravenes will be in contempt of court and may be arrested.
What to do if people trespass on your property
Regardless of their intention, whether to invade or expropriate, trespassers are trespassers and their presence by definition is illegal. The Trespassing Act, which states that no person may access land or property without the lawful owner or occupier’s permission, will be implemented. If a person trespasses it is a criminal offence and you should contact the police and report the trespasser.