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'Hangberg operation was a demolition of illegal structures not an eviction'

12 June 2020 7:47 AM
Tags:
Hout Bay
Hangberg

Hout Bay ward councilor Rob Quintas says elderly Hangberg community homeowners are negatively impacted by these excavations.

Hangberg residents clashed with law enforcement yesterday. Where to from here?

Local councillor Roberto Quintas speaks to Refilwe Moloto.

Quintas explains that Thursday's operation was a long time in the planning to take down structures built illegally on the City of Cape Town property reserved for open spaces, parks, utilised for waste removal, a pump station and a creche in the area.

RELATED: Structures demolished in Hangberg were occupied says community leader

The operation yesterday was a demolition, not an eviction. Evictions would not be allowed at this point in lockdown level 3. It would require a High Court order which would not be granted during this period as there is a stay on all evictions across the country.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

He explains what Thursday's operation involved.

It was the demolition of four unoccupied and incomplete structures that are being built illegally on land as a result of land invasion and trespass.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

He says the properties are being built illegally.

The people were served with notices and warnings repeatedly over the past few months as a result of complaints coming in by the community of Hangberg about the illegal building in the area.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

These people who were served with notices and warnings to cease building chose not to do so, adds Quintas.

The commanding agency of operations such as this is Public Order Policing and Quintas says they set the date over a week ago for the demolition.

It's incredibly unfortunate that the optics appear terrible in terms of the weather, but it must be reiterated and reinforced that nobody was evicted.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

Nobody resulted in being homeless or without a roof over their head last night. Every single person is staying somewhere already and is building illegally on land invaded property.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

The Hangberg area has an informal development zone, called the Hangberg in situ development area (EDA), where it is legal to erect structures, he explains.

People are able to build homes in that area where the City is able to deliver services and it is actually zoned, allowed, and permitted for informal development.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

These (structures) are being built outside of that area.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

He says the City is concerned about the housing shortage and backlog and that is why EDA was set up where services are being rolled out as informal homes are built in the allocated zone.

However, there are individuals in the community who will test the letter of the law and will build in areas that are not suitable where they are warned to cease building but will not do so.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

The area with the illegal structures is over the road from an established part of the Hangberg community, he says.

There are elderly members of the Hangberg community who have lived there for years worked in the fishing industry, who have managed to purchase and create their own first-time home and primary assets. They are also directly affected by this.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

He says the area across the road is also a sand dune which is unsafe for building and is also part of a biodiversity realm.

The existing creche in that area is on a flat area of land adjacent to the dunes, he explains. This accommodates children from Hangberg. It also has a small park that was earmarked for a 5-aside soccer pitch as well as an electricity sub-station at the road level along with a waste disposal drop-off point.

A lot of the excavation is happening behind these on the slopes next to these and causing blockages and interference for the City's services which affects the community - and also impact the park and recreational space.

Roberto Quintas, Local councillor - Hout Bay

Listen to the interview below:


12 June 2020 7:47 AM
Tags:
Hout Bay
Hangberg

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