Evictions cause traffic delays

The evictions of 15 illegal squatters at the Steenvilla Complex in Steenberg on Wednesday 25 July were the reason motorists travelling on the M3 to and from Cape Town were stuck in the traffic in Military Road between Allenby Drive and Steenberg Station.

The road was briefly closed in the early hours of Wednesday morning after protesters blocked the road.

The congestion and chaos on the roads started when the protesters blocked the road, while the evictions were taking place.

Due to the chaos that the protesters caused in the roads traffic officials from the traffic department of the City of Cape Town advised motorists to use alternative roads to avoid being stuck in the traffic or congesting the said roads.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Executive Director, Richard Bosman, said a charge of trespassing was laid with the police after two informal structures were erected on the pavement outside the complex.

The inhabitants of the two informal structures were not present when the evictions took place.

“Law Enforcement officials also served notices to the squatters in front of the Steenvilla Complex on Monday 9 July.

“This was in terms of the bylaw relating to Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances, but these were disregarded,” he said.

Law Enforcement officials removed the 15 structures, which were found unoccupied on Wednesday and residents in the Steenvilla Complex started protesting when the structures were being dismantled­.

“All of the furniture and other goods found in the structures were taken to the City’s pound in Ndabeni for safekeeping,” said Bosman.

Two stun grenades were fired by the police when a group of people tried to interfere with the operation when the last structure was being removed.

The road was closed off hardly 30 minutes later to allow the motorists to move to their destinations.

When PeoplesPost made an enquiry to the City, Bosman said that the eviction was a joint operation.

“The joint operation was conducted early on Wednesday morning where the police was the lead agency in terms of the trespassing charge that had been laid. The department of law enforcement only dismantled the structures and took the material and other belongings to the pound in Ndabeni.

“It is general knowledge that the law enforcement officers only dismantle structures, collect the material and keep it safe or hand it back to the rightful owners. They do not arrest people, that is the service rendered by the police,” Bosman said.

No one was injured and no arrests were made on Wednesday.