The FF Plus has noted with concern that there has been a significant increase in the number of illegal land occupations in South Africa, which will inevitably lead to tension and conflict between the landowners and illegal land occupants. In some cases, farmers are gathering in large numbers in an attempt to prevent land occupations and this has great potential for conflict.
Thus, the FF Plus is calling on the government to take decisive action and to ensure, in the first place, that enough land is made available for housing.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is on record saying, with regard to land expropriation without compensation, that illegal land occupations will not be tolerated. In March 2018, he said, among other things, the following about the illegal Olievenhoutbosch land occupation between Johannesburg and Pretoria:
“We (the government) should not tolerate disorder and lawlessness of that type. Nobody has any right to invade land, to violate other people’s rights. All those who want to invade land they will get to know that we will not allow that.” (EWN: 11 March 2018)
The FF Plus holds the government and political leaders, who incite illegal land occupations by making inflammatory political statements riddled with the constant rhetoric that white people stole the land, responsible. These people are accessories to creating the conflict situations around illegal land occupations.
The FF Plus is calling on President Ramaphosa to publicly condemn the illegal land occupations and to take steps to ensure that these land invasions are brought to an end. The President must also indicate what he plans to do to ensure that illegal land occupations do not keep happening.
The illegal land occupants are not only unlawfully transgressing on private property, but they are also violating the lockdown regulations which clearly stipulate that illegal land occupations may not take place.