George Municipality has as landowner, on 2 August 2022, addressed the illegal land invasion of Erf 125/1, a portion of land which is located outside the urban edge of Touwsranten. The illegal occupation of this portion of land took place in September 2020. An interdict was issued by the court and was served on the illegal occupants in November 2021, giving 90 calendar days to vacate the property.
ERF 125/1 is an environmentally sensitive area with falls within the SANParks buffer area. The illegal settlement encroaches on water courses, critical biodiversity areas and on ecological support areas and is not earmarked for future housing developments. The eviction order was executed by the Sheriff of the Court assisted by Public Order Police, Municipal Traffic and Law Enforcement Officials.
The illegal structures, approximately 219 have been demolished and the “building” materials removed have been stored at a temporary site with security for a limited period, as per the court order. Measures have been taken to assist vulnerable individuals as defined by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 1998.
As per the court order, the unlawful occupiers have been given an opportunity to either check their registration on the housing database, or to register, should they qualify. Municipal officials from the Human Settlements division were on hand to assist with such registration.