Media Statement - 04 June 2014
CAPE TOWN - The Minister and Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu and Zou Kota-Fredericks on Tuesday received briefings from the Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) and representatives of Nomzamo community on the prevailing human settlement and human rights challenge presented by the enforcement of the Western High Court order granted to SANRAL to remove illegal occupiers on their land at Lwandle, in the Western Cape.
After the briefing and a visit to the community by the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, the Ministers agreed that the City of Cape Town and SANRAL could have handled the dispute and the whole relocation process differently with the main concern being the interest of the people, children and the elderly. The Ministers indicated that if the two parties (the City and SANRAL) could not find a solution they should have elevated the dispute to the Provincial and National Government for mediation and guidance.
Minister Sisulu indicated that she will establish an enquiry to investigate all processes and procedures followed by all involved until the removal was authorized by the High Court and subsequently implemented this week.
“What we saw in the media, the information we gathered from the community, reports we received from SANRAL and statements from the City of Cape Town leaves us with many unanswered questions. It is not possible that in the middle of a very cold Western Cape winter, rains and children writing exams the whole community can be removed in such a brutal force, that concerns me as the Minister of Human Settlement, we are a caring Government,” she said.
The Minister added that in consultation with the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, the illegal occupiers will temporary settle at Lwandle whilst the Government assist SANRAL and City of Cape Town to find a solution to their dispute.
“We must be very clear, we do not encourage illegal occupation of land, it is the inhumane way in which children and women are being removed during winter that we are concern about, the people will have to move out of the land when necessary arrangements are made,” said Sisulu.
Cell: 083 645 7838
Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements