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New land occupation starts in Strand

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Private land owned by construction company has stood vacant for over a decade

Photo of two people in a field
A father and son mark out a plot on vacant land in Strand. Photo: Velani Ludidi
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Backyarders in Strand have begun to mark out plots on vacant land opposite the N2 near Reddam House school. Residents say the privately owned land, belonging to ASLA Construction, has stood vacant for over a decade.

“I never received an [RDP] house when they were built. I was told I never registered for a house,” said Nokuzola Nogwanya, who is 78, and lives in a shack in Lwandle. “We are not being disrespectful here, but are asking for this land since it is not used.”

Nkosithandile Mbovu, who lives in a shack in Nomzamo, said, “We have asked for this land for a very long time and no one said anything to us. As the people now, we have decided to take it and are prepared to fight for it. There is a need for land in this province which is kept by business people. ASLA is a construction company which came here to build houses … How they acquired the land we do not know.”

Mayco Member for for Human Settlements for the City of Cape Town Malusi Booi said the Anti-Land Invasion Unit had informed ASLA about attempts to occupy the land.

ASLA CEO Werner Jerling said, “The land in question is actively managed and monitored, and we were aware of the marking of the land from the first event earlier last week. Since then, we have removed the markings a number of times.

“As a private landowner, we became aware that the markings constitute more than a casual interest by others and have accordingly obtained a court interdict against persons with any form of illegal intent on the land.”

Werner did not respond to GroundUp’s question about what it planned to do with the vacant land.

Local councillor Jongidumo Maxheke said people had not consulted him before taking action. “I do not know what is happening because no one came to me and said anything. I will give comment after meeting with the people,” he said.

There are no structures yet on the land.

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TOPICS:  Housing Land

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