'Land expropriation without compensation is a mad idea'

Tensions have flared up in the seaside town of Hermanus where a group of residents attempted an illegal land grab at the weekend.

The group is now demanding a supply of water and electricity.

About 50 people have been arrested in relation to land protests in neighbouring Zwelihle.

Publisher at Village News, De Waal Steyn says Hermanus is now a 'ghost town', as businesses and schools are closed.

Read: Land grabs: 'Parties are using the vulnerable to push own agendas'

They were told in no uncertain terms that it is unlawful to simply grab land and they will be removed. The violence started shortly after the Red Ants moved in on Friday afternoon.

De Waal Steyn, Publisher of The Village News

Over the weekend it was the worst sporadic instances of violence and some rubber bullets were fired.... On Monday things really did turn violent, and a housing estate called Beach Club was attacked.

De Waal Steyn, Publisher of The Village News

Steyn says over a thousand people have left their homes and spent the night in local halls.

There is a huge need for food and water, and nappies as well.

De Waal Steyn, Publisher of The Village News

The Hermanus CBD is like a ghost town with many of the businesses not opening their doors because they have no staff.

De Waal Steyn, Publisher of The Village News

According to Human Settlements MEC in the Western Cape, Bonginkosi Madikizela the riots, both in Hermanus and other parts of the country, have been sparked by the motion tabled by the EFF and supported by the ANC of expropriating land without compensation.

This is a mad idea by the EFF and the ANC for land expropriation without compensation.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC

We must act responsibly as politicians and stop taking decisions for political expedience, because these are the results when you do that.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC

Madikizela will be visiting Hermanus on Tuesday to address residents and outline government's plan on housing.

We mustn't undermine the plight of the people, because there are genuine people in Hermanus who are saying, 'We have been waiting for houses' and we need to separate that from hooligans who are looting the shops in the name of wanting land. Those two needs to be separated and I am going there today to address these issues.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC

To hear the rest of the conversation on illegal land grabs, listen below:


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