Fight for land spills out of Cape Town’s backyards
People in the city and throughout SA have taken advantage of state of disaster regulations that prohibit evictions
Cape Town is an exploding city. In the 12 months since lockdown began, 50 new informal settlements have sprung up. Between 30,000 and 40,000 new shacks sit on top of sand dunes, in winter wetlands, on railway reserves, on and between the tracks themselves, in nature reserves and sandwiched into small pockets of public land, adjoining public buildings, churches and on land reserved for bulk sewerage works.
The settlements have been named in accordance with the times: Covid; Sanitiser; Coronavirus and Ramaphosa. Some have a sense of humour too: there is Lockdown Bay and the Waterfront, which borders a large piece of water, in a low-lying area, that looks sure to become a floodplain over the winter. None have access to toilets and people make use of the open ground. They also do not have water and must buy it from neighbouring formal settlements...