Residents of so-called ‘Malema Village’ face eviction for illegal land occupation

Residents of so-called ‘Malema Village’ face eviction for illegal land occupation

- Hundreds of people who invaded a vacant piece of land in Nelson Mandela Bay face eviction

- Residents have dubbed the informal settlement ‘Malema Village’

- EFF leader Julius Malema has been vocal in his support for people to invade unoccupied land

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The Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) metro has taken a grim view on illegal land invasion and has vowed to remove hundreds of people from a plot of land owned by the municipality. Metro officials said land grabs would not be tolerated.

Hundreds of people descended on an unoccupied piece of land in Ward 33 of the municipality over the weekend. They started erecting shacks and have dubbed the informal settlement Malema Village. This in honour of the EFF leaders’ vocal support for people to invade unoccupied land.

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Nelson Mandela Bay human settlements political head Nqaba Bhanga said the metro would remove the people who were illegally occupying municipal land. gathered that some of the residents of ‘Malema Village’ are from surrounding areas such as Izinyoka and Govan Mbeki, they said they had grown tired and frustrated with waiting for the government to provide proper housing.

The site on which ‘Malema Village’ now stands has reportedly been used as a dumpsite for many years.

Despite warnings from municipal officials, more and more people are arriving at the site each day and are building their shacks. One resident of ‘Malema Village’ said she had been waiting since 1993 for the government to provide her with a house.

She said: “I have four children and all of us have not had a house. This is the only available land to us and therefore it makes logic to occupy it.”

Almost every single one of the residents had a similar tale of waiting more than 20 years for the government to provide housing for them.

“This place used to be a dumping site, but we saw an opportunity when the municipality cleared it up. We thought to ourselves, we have been given a green light to occupy it,” one resident said.

Residents were unanimous in their assertion that they would occupy the piece of land until the government provided them with proper housing.

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