Land invasion is in breach of the law, warns Makhura

Johannesburg – Those taking part in land invasions should be dealt with by law enforcement agencies, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Monday. 

"Let me state this from the outset, that land invasion is a breach of the law," Makhura said.

He said that he was aware of a spate of orchestrated illegal land invasions taking place across the province and added that, following engagements with communities, they were aware that people have been making calls for land to be made available so that they can build their own houses and embark on economic activities.

Working with municipalities, the national government and state-owned enterprises, Makhura said they will ensure that well-allocated land in key economic centres is redistributed in the public interest to further establish post-apartheid cities.

Exploiting need for access to land

The ANC in Gauteng has also warned against illegal land invasions in the province.

The party has appealed to communities not to "fall prey to people masquerading as champions of land redistribution, who are deliberately exploiting the genuine need for access to land by encouraging illegal land invasions".

In a statement, the ANC in Gauteng said a person known as Peter allegedly sold pieces of land for R100 in Olievenhoutbosch over the weekend.

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"One of the dangers of the invasion of land is that it will undermine the current unfolding constitutional process as undertaken by Parliament, to facilitate a public participation process towards the implementation of land expropriation without compensation."

The party also warned that illegal land invasions will lead beneficiaries of land redistribution to lose out.

News24 reported on Monday that land invaders in Olievenhoutbosch in Midrand were adamant that they would not be forcibly removed by the government or the police.

People made their way into the area, along the R55 and west toward Diepsloot and into Mnandi, early on Friday morning, March 9.

By Saturday afternoon, they had occupied large tracts of land; each piece was marked with red-and-white barrier tape.

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Police and residents had removed markers in certain areas on Monday. 

Chairperson of the EFF in ward 106 in the area, Peter Seolela, said residents started to allocate land to themselves in December.

Seolela said the only way for the government to take them seriously, was if they occupied every single open piece of land.

"We cannot go and close the roads and vandalise everything we see. The only thing that we will do is occupy any open land. They take us for a fool [sic]," Seolela said.