Kayamandi shack dwellers, backyarders invade private land

Shacks built illegally
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Backyarders and shack dwellers at Kayamandi in Stellenbosch have forcefully erected more than 400 shacks on private land in the area. This is the second time the group has invaded the farm area after a court order was granted to the owner to move them off the land.

The invaders have vowed that this time around they will not move until the municipality comes back to them with concrete answers on where they will be moved to. The group has already built more than 400 structures on the private piece of land. They say by the time they are done, there should be at least 800 shacks in the area.

Many others have joined to make sure that they will also get a piece of land. One backyard dweller Nosphelele Duma says many of the residents in Kayamandi are living in poor conditions because of inadequate housing.

“As backyarders from Kayamandi, we had asked the Mayor for land. That was back in May. She said she would come back to us in two weeks and never did. So we came here and started building illegally. I have two brothers and I live with them in a two room shack. So you can imagine the stress. That is why I’m here today to invade this land.”

The area has no water or sanitation facilities. Resident Bulelwa Dyanti says they have already started collecting money from those that can afford it, anticipating a legal battle with the owner of the piece of land that they illegally occupied.

“We have decided that we will collect money so that we can find a lawyer. The municipality said this was private land so we want to be able to have legal representation just in case the owner takes us to court for moving in here illegally.”

Meanwhile, SABC News was referred to the premier’s office which said they are not in position to comment on the matter at this stage.