City keeps an eye on illegally occupied land

Xanthea Limberg. Photo: DAVID RITCHIE/ INLSA

After a reader, who didn’t want to be named, tipped Plainsman off about people living in the area “close to Khayelitsha cemetery and Wolfgat Nature reserve”, Xanthea Limberg, the City’s mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, said the City would “continue all legal means at our disposal to prevent land invasions and maintain social stability”.

The Tafelsig resident who contacted Plainsman, had told us: “People across Baden Powell and Swartklip close to the Khayelitsha cemetry and Wolfgat Nature Reserve have been cordoning off spaces for their little houses to be put up.

“I don’t understand why they are doing this. It is a problem for the community, that will later affect everybody in the surrounding areas.

“I see this as a big problem in the future. Many people see land invasions happening but no one is doing anything. They have been living here for almost two months now.”

Ms Limberg said this was an ongoing issue and that the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit, related law enforcement agencies and the South African Police Service, “continued to remove unoccupied, illegally erected structures as per the law”.

She also urged residents with information on possible land invasions to contact the City. “It will be anonymous and there could be an award for information leading to arrests,” she said.

Ms Limberg added that individuals who illegally occupied land often placed themselves at greater risk because they occupied uninhabitable land that could not be formally serviced.

She advised private landowners to contact them for advice on how best to deal with the threat of land invasions. The Public Emergency Communication Centre can be contacted on 107 from a landline or on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.