After a mob attack set alight a cluster of illegal dwellings in Masiphumele, the City of Cape Town will be taking firm action.
“Residents are taking the law into their own hands as they do not want the informal settlements in the area due to escalating crime in the area but these people will not move. We will be bringing law enforcement to have them removed,” says Fish Hoek ward councillor Felicity Purchase.
The City of Cape Town has handed shack holders an ultimatum to relocate their illegal dwellings or be removed from the premises.
“If they do not remove their structures from the area we will do so for them. There are no longer any negotiations,” says Purchase.
Demands were sparked after Fish Hoek residents took to the dwellings setting them a light when being alerted to drug peddling in the area.
“People do this out of desperation. They set up informal settlements because they have no other option. These are the areas that bad seeds lurk and breed. There have been numerous reports of drug dealing along with reports of land invasion and the people have just had enough,” says Purchase.
The incident came about when the dealer’s house was petrol bombed. The structure burnt down and fire spread across the precinct.
“All the shacks in the area were burnt down in the blaze due to an upset mob attacked an individual’s dwelling setting it a light,” says Purchase.
The ward councillor says that structures were erected without the consent of the the City of Cape Town.
Despite the persistence of illegal dwellers the shacks were removed by the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit.
Removal of the dwellings came about after homeless people relocated their structures in an area not allocated to them.
Demands have been made to allocate land to these informal settlers. Purchase mentioned that if dwellers persist in occupying any vacant land without the City’s permission, their structures will be put down and they will be removed from the premises.
“They have asked us if we can give them land in another area to set up house. We are still reviewing this. However if these people continue to set up on any land vacant to them they will be escorted by law enforcement and their dwellings will be removed from the area without notification,” says Purchase.
Although illegal dwellers have given the ward councillor 48 hours to step down if their demands for land are not met, Purchase is adamant that she will complete her term until the next election in 2016.
“They can ask what they live that is not going to happen. They can wait until the next elections next year. I am most certainly not stepping down for a small group when the majority are happy with the service rendered by the City,” says Purchase. (Nailah Cornelissen)