Minister Sisulu Calls On Police To Arrest Any Opportunists Who Use The Ban On Evictions To Invade Land Parcels

The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu on Sunday, visited the community of Empolweni informal settlements in Khayelitsha. She provided temporary shelter, water and food to restore their dignity after they were evicted last week by the City of Cape Town.

On Friday, the Western Cape High Court ruled against the City of Cape Town. The court ordered the municipality to allow the residents to return back to the land from which they were evicted. It also ordered the City of Cape Town to return the building materials of the residents whose homes were demolished. Minister Sisulu made an undertaking that once all the court processes have been concluded, government would assist the affected households with material to rebuild their structures.

Over the past few weeks some parts of the country have experienced evictions, leaving people even more vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. Minister Sisulu called for evictions to be suspended shortly after the lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Several evictions have however taken place, despite the Minister’s call and regulation issued by government, putting a stop to further evictions.

Minister Sisulu has also called on the police to come down hard on opportunists who use the halt on evictions to invade land parcels. “As we put measures in place to contain the spread of the virus, let us be mindful of individuals who might seize this opportunity for their selfish interests. People should not embark on land invasions. Such unlawful acts will undermine the gains we have made over the past few weeks to contain the spread of COVID-19”, said Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu also encouraged communities around the country who have been provided with water tanks to look after them. As of Friday, close to 20 000 water storage tanks and over 1 200 water tankers have been delivered across the country.

Press Release Date: 
Sunday, April 19, 2020