City of Ekurhuleni Finally Responds to Tembisa Land Invasion: 150 Illegal Structures Demolished

The City of Ekurhuleni’s Metro Police Department (EMPD) is currently in Tembisa, Kopanong Section demolishing illegally erected shacks after notices to remove the illegal structures fell on deaf ears.

A group of people invaded an open field which has been used as a soccer and netball facility by residents of Kopanong and surrounding sections, the invaders started to allocate stands to individuals. This illegal act started in November 2022 where 100 shacks were erected, this grew to 150 shacks by the end of November 2022.

Subsequent to this, ActionSA reported the matter to the Executive Mayor, Tania Campbell, and MMC for Human Settlements, Cllr Alco Ngobese, as we view this act as serious impediment to the ideals of a City providing proper housing opportunities and social amenities to people.

The inability, lack of decisiveness and disregard by the DA-led administration to the plight of residents, particularly in townships has resulted in what could have been an avoidable situation to a much worse crisis, where 150 shacks mushroomed in a period of 3 weeks since ActionSA initially reported the matter.

We note the quick response by the EMPD this morning as they were quick to serve notices to the invaders to voluntarily remove their incomplete shacks but, again, the notices were totally ignored. The removal of the informal structures was then effected with 150 structures removed. The quick response is testament to some of the strategies which were implemented by Cllr Thlogi Moseki, who, when he was MMC for Community Safety, instituted Operation BuyaMthetho, a multi-disciplinary operation which aims to affirm the City’s commitments to bringing back the rule of law.

It is unclear at this stage whether money is being exchanged in this unlawful conduct. We advise members of the public not to buy pieces of land from anyone and not to take advice from anybody who incites the community to occupy land.

We acknowledge the plight of many of Ekurhuleni’s residents that are desperately in need of housing. However, we cannot condone illegal land-grabs, especially when it comes at the cost of communities’ access to recreational facilities.

ActionSA is committed to establishing a housing programme that allocates housing opportunities in a clear and transparent manner that seeks to address the housing crisis and associated backlogs through a fair, corruption-free process. Through available measures in Council, ActionSA caucus will ensure that the DA-led administration fast-tracks the allocation of serviced stands, increases access to affordable housing units, and where necessary, that residents are allocated with social housing programmes.