Protesting Hermanus residents grow impatient over land

A group of Hermanus residents have decided to start clearing land in Schulphoek in preparation for building their own structures as they grow impatient with the red tape involved in the transfer of the "promised land" to them by the government.

This was after a marathon protest outside the Overstrand municipal offices in the town on Wednesday.

The protest was after a march to the municipality to complain about politicisation of their attempt to find somewhere to build their own homes amid rising rentals and a lack of available land in Zwelihle.

A fraught meeting was held with Mayor Dudley Coetzee and it ended with community leaders demanding he summon human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.

Coetzee assured them the privately owned land would be given to them, but said the municipality did not have the power to finalise the transfer.

Madikizela was not available so MEC for community safety Dan Plato was sent.

Meeting planned for Friday

Madikizela attended a meeting on Tuesday night but it collapsed.

While community members were waiting for Plato, two fires were started in the road outside the municipality.

Part of the fence was also broken down, while police kept their distance.

Plato and the South African Human Rights Commission's Chris Nissen then brokered an agreement with community leaders to bring forward a meeting originally planned for Sunday at 14:00.

The meeting with Plato has been moved to Friday at noon.

"I'm back 12 o'clock Friday," said Plato.

Community members walked back to Zwelihle just after 20:00, singing, with the police's blue lights flashing near them.