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The road to an occupied piece of land in Kanana Park, Johannesburg, is strewn with rocks and burning refuse that have created a makeshift barrier between land occupiers and police. Kanana Park, mainly comprising Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, is a place of hope, residents tell Business Day. Yet families of more than 10 people often cram into the tiny government-built houses. The settlement is on the outskirts of Johannesburg, cut off from the economic lifeblood of the city. Poverty and unemployment are rife here. Fed up with being crammed into RDP houses and with the lack of economic opportunities in the area, residents took matters into their own hands and started occupying vacant land they say has been vacant for about 15 years. They do not know who owns it. After they started erecting shacks, the authorities caught wind of it. On Wednesday, the Johannesburg metro police stepped in, as the occupation of the land is deemed illegal.Metro officers entered the ...

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