Lwandle Evictions: City of Cape Town and Sanral Shift the Blame on Each Other

By Oliver Ngwenya    03-Jun-2014 22:14 UTC+02:00 3
Image: IOL

Image: IOL

Dozens of people were left homeless after being evicted from Sanral-owned land in Lwandle informal settlement in the Western Cape. This resulted in violent protests, which have led to arrests of several individuals.

In trying to unravel the mystery of the land invasions and the subsequent protests, it appears that there are two sides to the issue. According to Sanral spokesman, Vusi Mona, the City of Cape Town abdicated its responsibility towards the residents that ended up being evicted. He added that the evictions could have been avoided if the City of Cape Town had not pulled out of the talks with Sanral to find an amicable solution to the issue of the shack dwellers of the Lwandle settlement.

Mona further said that Sanral started trying to engage with the city fathers as early as 2003 when the illegal settlements started mushrooming. There was however no reciprocation of the gesture. Tiyani Ponto-Rikhotso, department of transport spokesperson, added his voice to the call to place the blame for the evictions on the N2 road reserve. He said that the department has evidence that the city fathers had blocked plans to acquire alternative land to relocate the families on the Sanral land.

On the other hand, the City of Cape Town argues that since the land in question belonged to Sanral, the city has not been responsible for policing the land. Human resources MMC, Siyabulela Mamkele, added that the city had repeatedly advised the the road agency to protect its land against invasion. The road agency responded by employing a security company to police the area in which the said land was but this did not stem further inflow of illegal inhabitants. According to Vusi Mona, it is at this point that Sanral had no choice but to get a High Court order that would curb further land invasions. This order was granted on January 24 this year.

This is the court order that led to forceful evictions that started on Monday and continued into Tuesday. As usual, the evictions led to counter protests from the Lwandle inhabitants, which turned violent. According to the police, more than 10 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, which seem to have involved petrol bombings and other forms of violence. Lt-Col Andre Traut informed the media that three people had been arrested on Tuesday while seven had been arrested on Monday.

Responding to the plight of the evictees, the transport minister as well as the human settlement minister had pledged to visit the areas to make an on the ground assessment of the situation and see how they can assist the individuals affected.


  1. Thulane says:

    some cartoonist labeled ANC voters clowns,now what do you say about the DA voters after this Mr know it all

  2. Makwenkwe Tengwa says:

    ANC thinks blacks are stupids and can just simple duped them like fools. ANC is Sanral, Sanral implement etolls in collaboration& agreement with ANC. This is another Pota pota dirty approach where ANC thinks that through its dirty and cheap political tactics will one day simple sway black voters to vote them(ANC). Dipuo Peters is just a political porn to act the political moving. Zuma is his master and steering.

  3. Justin says:

    First the ANC blames the DA, yet it was their organisation that started the evictions, with the help of the SAPS, which the ANC refuses to put under the control of the municipality in which they are housed, having them instead report to National Government.So in all areas, this could never be a DA sanctioned eviction, though the heads clearly were playing to an ANC agenda.Now they admit that they and Sanral were the only parties to the eviction, but they still want to point the finger at Cape Town?They proceeded with forced evictions and yet they claim the Fault is Cape Town’s because Cape Town had informed them in April 2011 that they must first sort out the question of road tolling was addressed. As per the email below from the City to Sanral.”Meeting of 8 April 2011 between SANRAL and CCT refers: Mayor’s Office: “Notwithstanding any previous correspondence, please accept herewith that Council cannot advise, one way or the other, on your proceeding with the acquisition of Erf ST681-17 for the eventual relocation of occupiers of the N2 road reserve (Onverwacht Interchange), until such time as the Intergovernmental Dispute over road-tolling has been resolved.”http://www.politicsweb.co.za/p…So, instead of trying to resolve the issue, they go ahead with their plans, intent of enforcing and unwanted tolling system in Cape Town as they did in Johannesburg, against the wishes of the people that they represent, so that SANRAL can make billions (I wonder in whose pockets the tolls paid will land eventually, will it be limited to SANRAL).And now, when they have taken the action that kicked people out of homes at the start of the wet cape town winter, they want to point a finger at the DA and they they are the cause.What a load of BS, no wonder that people think that the ANC refuses to fix the education system so that people can remain uneducated enough to see through their BS.

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