Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has condemned the recent spate of illegal occupation of private properties, including land and housing units in various parts of the country.
This follows the recent incident where people illegally occupied housing units in Fleurhof, Johannesburg.
Sisulu warned that the illegal act of taking occupation of housing units in Fleurhof, with the express intent of coercing government into providing housing for the illegal invaders on a preferential basis, will never be tolerated.
“The Fleurhof Housing Development project is meant to address the housing backlog according to the housing database.
“Government will not tolerate those who seek to set back development and undermine the rights of other deserving people, who have been on the database for many years waiting for their houses.
“While we acknowledge that we still have a backlog, which we are tackling annually through the provision of housing opportunities, lawlessness will never be tolerated,” Sisulu said.
She said the department is satisfied that the City of Johannesburg is renovating units which have been vandalised. Sisulu made an undertaking that the houses will soon be allocated to beneficiaries.
She reiterated that national government has made provision for homeless people during lockdown, and alternative accommodation has been provided under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Development.
She said the department is not going to tolerate criminal behaviour and opportunists, who seek to undermine development and progress of housing delivery for those in genuine need of decent shelter.
“Government will continue to use its limited resources to respond to the housing needs of the qualifying beneficiaries, including military veterans who are still part of the housing backlog.”
According to the Minister, the country has a duty to honour its military veterans for the sacrifices and contributions they made in fighting for the democratic dispensation.
“Those who illegally invade private property and land parcels are committing a criminal offence and should be dealt with swiftly, and removed to prevent anarchy from spreading to other municipalities. Law enforcement agencies must act in these instances,” Sisulu said.