Homeowners are also directly affected by land grabs.
THE ILLEGAL land invasion woes that are plaguing the Sol Plaatje Municipality continued after shack dwellers erected their houses on vacant land in Kirstenhof in Kimberley.
Land invaders apparently started erecting their shacks on an open piece of land in Pelvie Street at the end of January.
A group of land invaders yesterday denied the DFA access to the area and became rowdy when journalists asked for more details about the land grab.
One of the group members held up a piece of paper with a list of names written on it. It appeared that list contained the names of the people who are believed to be occupying the land
Meanwhile, homeowners in the area said that they were afraid that their houses were losing value due to the illegal invasions.
“These land invasions are spreading like wildfire in the city. There are land invasions in almost every residential area of the city. If things continue at this rate, we might as well all just take ownership of a piece of land, erect a shanty and stay there,” said one of the homeowners.
“It does not seem like the municipality has a permanent solution to curb these invasions or how to get people removed from the land. It is really frustrating since we have to pay for the land and services we have whereas others just demand to get those same services for free.”
Other residents said that while they understood the plight of the land invaders, homeowners are also directly affected by land grabs.
“We understand the plight of those who invaded the land. However, if they continue to occupy the land then things will become a problem for both the shack dwellers and homeowners in the area. That land has not been supplied with basic services by the municipality. Where are the land occupiers going to get water and toilet services? We are already faced with a lack of basic services from the municipality and now a greater amount of people will be affected.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said that the local authority was aware of the land invasion and that it is adding to the challenges that the municipality is facing.
“We call upon community members to engage with the municipality in order for the municipality to assist in the challenge of housing instead of merely invading land illegally. The illegal invasion of land will result in a demand of basic services from the municipality. Community members must communicate with the municipality and not resort to such actions,” said Matsie.