Battle for land heats up: Mossel Bay - this is an original news story by Adriana Stuijt.
MOSSEL BAY, Western Cape. July 2 2010 – About 200 land-rights protestors today stopped their attempts to set up squatter shacks on a valuable land site with a spectacular view overlooking the ocean.The land is earmarked for a new provincial hospital, a Mossel Bay spokesman said. The squatters arrived on June 25 2010 with building materials and started pegging out sites and placing corner-poles. A town councillor’s property was reportedly also torched during the land occupation, and the SAPS reportedly also had to intervene in large numbers to remove the squatters again. I am reliably informed by local residents that the ‘stand-off’ stage has ended and that the squatters abandoned their attempts to occupy the land illegally.
One interesting aspect noted by the observer of the land-occupation attempt on June 29 2010 -- and who sent me these pictures below -- was that Somali refugees reportedly also were amongst the land-occupiers, although this could not be confirmed officially.
‘Waiting list for 12,000 houses in Mossel Bay:’
The official comment from the Mosselbay municipal spokesman, Harry Hill, was as follows:
* “ I can confirm that about 200 people tried to occupy vacant municipal land on Friday, 25 June 2010, for the first time and have since made several more attempts to do so. They have been informed that the occupation is illegal and structures that they erected were demolished immediately. Some people have since been arrested on charges such as organising illegal gatherings, public violence and arson.
“The Mossel Bay Municipality continues to monitor the situation and persons who try to erect structures are informed in writing that it is illegal before the structure is demolished and the material removed.
“Although there is a housing shortage in Mossel Bay and a waiting list of 12 ,000 for houses, provision of housing is a function of the national government and not that of municipalities. As municipalities act as implementing agents for Government on housing projects, the anger of people are often vented against the municipalities who are dependent on the national government for funding for houses.
* “The land is question is earmarked for a new provincial hospital as well as a health clinic and an ambulance station.”
Mr Hill also noted that: General municipal elections will take place in South Africa and it appears that the action by these people has been orchestrated by people with political ambitions.” contact: Harry Hill, tel. (044) 606-5193l 0829208850 http://www.mosselbaymun.co.za/
The news was also broadcast very briefly over the Afrikaans-language radio Radio Sonder Grense on June 29, 2010. If any readers have noted any other news reports in the main-stream news media, please send me the link at email@example.com http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2010/07/battle-for-land-heats-up-mossel-bay.html