Illegal occupations pose ‘great risks’ for housing delivery

Staff Writer | Aug 16, 2019
The City of Cape Town said the illegal occupation of buildings and land across the metro, and elsewhere in South Africa, ‘creates far more problems than solutions’.

Ongoing land invasions, the illegal occupation of buildings and calls by some to invade land or illegally occupy properties owned by the State, the city and private citizens ‘hold great risks for housing delivery in Cape Town’.

So said Malusi Booi, Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements.

Booi said in a statement: ‘These actions are illegal and go against the values of a society that supports the Rule of Law.’

He added: ‘The illegal occupation of city-owned properties is becoming a trend, not only within the Cape Town metro but nationwide too. This cannot be tolerated since it directly impacts on the provision of housing within our city. The City will take whatever actions are necessary to prevent the illegal occupation of its property.’

Booi said that ‘greater access to affordable housing opportunities that are closer to urban centres and the Cape Town central city in particular will be harmed by the further illegal occupation of buildings and housing sites’.

A case in point was the future of Woodstock Hospital. The city had commissioned a feasibility analysis for its redevelopment.

‘However the development of the Woodstock Hospital is under severe pressure due to the illegal occupation of the building, despite the City obtaining an interdict to prevent further illegal occupation. The hijacking of buildings is a real concern as it impacts on the provision of housing opportunities within the city centre. In addition, it might render these developments moot due to the site and/or existing building not being available as a direct result of illegal occupation.’


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