‘I will not fight with the people’ says Gugs landowner following occupations

CAPE TOWN – Gugulethu backyarders have occupied three pieces of open land, saying they are tired of being overlooked by government when it comes to housing. The sites are in NY112, NY108 and NY6.
When visiting NY112, a number of people were busy establishing plots. Some of the people were pushing trolleys and wheelie bins that had wooden poles and zinc sheeting. Most of the residents were afraid to speak and spoke up on condition of anonymity.
One of the backyarders, who lives in NY 112 near the occupied land said: “This land has been standing empty for years and nothing is being done on it. So why should we suffer being backyarders when there is land that you can build your own home on?”
He added: “The police were here. And instead of chasing us away they were making sure that we are building correctly, one of them even checking that each person has the same size plot. We spoke to the police, and they understand our situation.”
One of the residents, Mirvin Tshabalala, said: “We are not doing this because we want to… Many times we have been told that land is identified for us, but then other people get put on the land.
The land in NY112 is owned by three private individuals, one of them said although a court interdict had been obtained to stop the erection of structure: “I will not fight with the people.”
Photo Credit-Dancers Project

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