The New Age: KZN court expected to rule on ban of land occupation

Note how Baloyi tries to divide the oppressed and shift the blame for the failures of the state by claiming that land occupations are slowing down the government’s housing programme.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court is on Thursday expected to rule on the validity of a provincial government regulation banning occupations of land earmarked for housing and other state development by homeless people’s movement Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Abahlahli spokesperson Sbu Zikode said he is confident that they have reasonable ground to succeed on Thursday because they had no doubt that the order issued by provincial human settlements MEC Ravi Pillay last year to evict communities in Cato Crest and Lamontville was unlawful.

Zikode said it was high time that communities who are homeless make use of their struggle, their courage and the constitution to make sure that they secure land for housing for themselves and their children, as well as the future generation.

“In our view it’s not land grab, its land occupation because we have been robbed of liberty and peace,” Remembering an occupant who had been shot during a land eviction, Zikode said they wanted to extend their gratitude to the brave and courageous comrades who stood firm in their beliefs and inspired other communities to know that they have a right to the land of their birth.

“It is a disgrace for a black person in particular to remain landless and homeless in a country of so much wealth,” he said.

Media liaison officer for the provincial human settlements department Mbulelo Baloyi said they hoped the High court would rule in their favour. He said land invasions disturbed housing development plans therefore affecting the lives of those who were in line for their RDP houses.

“We are trying to protect that land so that we can have an orderly and lawful occupation process,” Baloyi said. He added that it was unfair for beneficiaries to have to wait for their houses because of opportunistic communities targeting their space.