Government urges people not to take advantage of lockdown regulations

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The National Department of Human Settlements has called on people not to take advantage of the national lockdown regulations that prohibit evictions during this period to start building new structures.

Evictions have been taking place in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit has been conducting a number of anti-land invasion operations in Khayelitsha which, it says, are in accordance with a final court order to remove illegally erected and unoccupied structures.

Department spokesperson, Mcintosh Polela says people should be at home and not erecting structures.

Polela says, “What we are making very clear is that people are not allowed to take advantage of the regulation not to evict to set up new structures. People who set up new structures will rightly be prevented from doing so, or if they have set up those structures within 24 hours those structures will be struck down. So nobody should take advantage of the situation and set up new structures, it is not allowed.”

In the video below, SABC Regional Editor, Kenneth Makatees tells us about the evictions in Makhaza in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

‘Evictions are illegal’

Human rights group, the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has condemned the City of Cape Town’s decision to evict people and demolish homes in Empolweni, Makhaza last week.

The centre says the evictions are in contravention of the Disaster Management Act.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola declared evictions illegal during the lockdown.

“All evictions and executions of attachment orders, both movable and immovable, including the removal of movable assets in executions; are suspended with immediate effect for the duration of the lockdown.”

The LRC says the City’s actions have exposed Empolweni residents to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

“The City of Cape Town’s actions have rendered numerous families homeless, thereby compromising the effectiveness of the measures put in place to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19. It has further exposed the occupants to a higher risk of infection which may increase the infection rate of COVID-19.”

In the video below, the City of Cape Town acts against the occupation of vacant land in Khayelitsha:

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