About 30 plots in Kuyasa reserved for deaf residents have been occupied.

The plots had stood vacant because of long delays in getting housing subsidies.

Community leaders promoting the occupation are accused of greed and selfishness.

The illegal occupation of nearly 90 plots belonging to people waiting for housing subsidy approval has divided the community leadership of Kuyasa, Khayelitsha. About 30 of the plots belong to deaf people.

Some of the occupiers are building with bricks.

A resident, who feared to be named, said that at a community meeting on Sunday, the chairperson harangued and then chased out those who objected to the occupation.

“On Monday we woke up to marked plots,” said the resident.

Then on Tuesday, people who tried to intervene were threatened at gunpoint, he said.

The resident said he was angry at the “greed” of the leaders and he accused them of selling plots. They were forcefully taking plots with the excuse that they were stopping outsiders from occupying the land. He said if they had really meant well they would have called the rightful owners currently living in shacks to relocate to the vacant plots to prevent outsiders taking them.

Kuyasa was established in early 2000 and has 320 houses. It is run by the Victoria Mxenge (VM) women, who have built more than 5,000 houses for elderly women and pensioners across Cape Town.

Managing director Patricia Matolengwe said the plots had not been developed due to delays with the City of Tygerberg subsidy grants.

“Only in 2012 were we advised to apply for subsidies from the provincial Department of Human Settlement,” she said.

She said it takes about six months to get the forms back from the department. This year they have submitted applications twice and they are in a process of submitting 55 applications for Kuyasa.

A contractor also terminated a building contract because of the subsidy delays.

Matolengwe said the delays at the provincial office greatly affected disabled people who need to go to the doctor for assessment to prove that they are still living with disability. Contacting the beneficiaries is also difficult because they are constantly robbed of their phones. They also struggled to communicate with the deaf beneficiaries. When family members are not available, they sometimes have to hire translators.