More than 3 000 families have invaded a municipal land.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Free State has threatened to intensify its land grab campaign in the province. The party says it has identified several tracts of land which it will avail for residential purposes.
The EFF is at loggerheads with the five-party coalition government in the embattled Metsimaholo Municipality over its land grab policy.
Sasolburg is an industrialised area in the Free State, where many people come for economic opportunities. But a lack of housing remains a growing challenge.
More than 3 000 families have invaded municipal land.
Some land occupiers say they were left with no option…
“We didn’t have any place to stay. So, we are comfortable staying here in Mooidraai.”
The municipality’s court bid to evict the landless families was unsuccessful.
Metsimaholo Community Association’s Secretary, Thokozani Nhlapo has accused the EFF of being opportunistic.
“We also discourage municipality to put any infrastructure there because those people are illegal occupants and what is more painful is that there are people that are coming outside our municipality. They’ve closed space for people who are residing in informal areas here to go and be properly settled in that particular area.”
The ANC has called on law enforcement agencies to act decisively against illegal land occupiers.
Free State ANC Secretary, Paseka Nompondo, says municipalities should lead the process of land allocation.
“We have directed all our municipalities in the province to give people land for various purposes; for residential purposes; for economic purposes, so that the people can work the land.”
EFF Fezile Dabi Chairperson, April Motaung, is unrepentant.
“Every South African citizen, even an African from Zimbabwe or from Congo, deserves a piece a land. So, we give each and every person who needs land land.”
The EFF says the Metsimaholo coalition government has failed to avail land for residential purposes. The EFF says it has identified more land to be occupied due to the growing demand.