It's estimated that over the past 15 months, it cost the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements approximately R187 million to prevent illegal land grabs and site invasions. In addition, this past month alone, the Department has spent R18 Million to prevent illegal occupation of our housing units and vacant land earmarked for human settlement development.
These amounts, which excludes legal costs, as it has not yet not been determined, translates into an estimated 1 168 housing opportunities missed.
Minister Simmers said: "Spending this exorbitant amount on securing our land and sites is unnecessary and quite frankly avoidable. In this day and age, we should not be coerced into utilising such expensive and extremes measures to protect state assets and resources, particularly since they're earmarked to benefit the most vulnerable and deserving in our society.
It is despicable that we have so-called 'community leaders' engaging in such criminal activity by damaging and destroying property. They and all of their followers have taken a conscious decision to embark in this lawlessness and therefore I am appealing to all our Law Enforcement agencies that the full might of the law must take its course.
Our call is still for the South African Police Services (SAPS) to immediately and without fear or favour arrest those who are leading these illegal activities. We are all required to adhere to all the laws of the country and examples should especially be made of those are blatantly disregarding the laws of the country.
We cannot allow lawlessness to take hold in the Western Cape. Instead, we encourage all those with a genuine housing need to immediately register on the housing demand database. If they've already done so, the onus is on them to ensure that their details are verified and up to date.
Furthermore, I wish to make a humble plea to our residents to utilise existing stakeholder platforms and community structures to constructively address their concerns and needs.
Tomorrow, the Provincial Cabinet will be discussing a proposal, which consists of various elements that will seek to address the current situation that we have in our province.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.