Economic, International

South Africa’s Cape Town sees unprecedented rise in unlawful land occupations since COVID-19 lockdown


   CAPE TOWN, April 15 -- Cape Town municipality on Thursday said the city experienced an "unprecedented increase" in unlawful land occupations since the start of the national lockdown against the COVID-19 last year.
   Preliminary information of the ongoing assessments shows the majority of such unlawful occupations were driven by criminal syndicates and the unlawful occupations led to 54 newly established settlements of various sizes across the city, mostly on unsuitable land, the city said in a statement.
   The majority of recent unlawful occupations were in areas that were not meant for human settlements, such as road reserves, wetlands and water detention ponds, it said, citing the example of a settlement with over 10,000 dwellings in Driftsands nature reserve, eastern Cape Town.
   The issue is driven by both economic and political motivations, according to the municipality.  Xinhua