Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille visited Grabouw on Sunday to try resolve a community land-grab on state-owned forests.
People began occupying unused forestry land near Grabouw in March.
De Lille’s department, along with the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries department, were granted an interdict in the Western Cape High Court on April 21 preventing community members from entering the lands to occupy them.
De Lille’s office said; “The land parcels affected by the land invasions are part of the plantation areas that DEFF is planning to recommission for commercial forestry purposes,”
“The recommissioning will result in the empowerment of local communities through partnerships with investors.”
The court interdict was served on the unlawful occupiers on April 25.
They were given until May 19 2021 to offer reasons as to why the interim order should not be made final.
The interim order prevents community members from:
- entering the lands to occupy them,
- intimidating or assaulting officials, and
- encouraging other people to invade the land.
“The court indicated that this interim order should not be construed as an eviction order and does not entitle the applicants to demolish occupied structures as at the date of the order, being 21 April 2021 and that the above order shall operate as an interim order with immediate effect,” De Lille’s office said.
The community has agreed to work together with Government to find a lasting solution and I have committed to return to the area in the near future. pic.twitter.com/C7DEAwxgNA
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) May 9, 2021