Sisulu meets with Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato over ongoing land unrest

Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlments, continued her widespread consultation tour in protest-engulfed Cape Town by meeting with the City's Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, on Tuesday 28 July. 

Sisulu also met with community leaders from Khayelitsha on Friday 24 July in an effort to quell the violence that has plagued the City's surrounding areas since residents became angered by Anti-land Invasion Unit efforts to remove settlers from municipal owned land earlier in July. 

'Cape Town protest violence must come to an end' – Sisulu

A spokesperson for the department said that Sisulu had been meeting with meeting various stakeholders involved in the unrest in a bid to better understand the opposing grievances of each of the warring parties, 

They added that she had also consulted with several minster counterparts – Police Minister Bheki Cele, Minister of Agriculture, and Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, and Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille.

"Together we will need to find lasting solutions to our problems," Sisulu said in a statement released on Tuesday morning. 

She noted that the current situation, in which protesters are regularly clashing with police, buildings have been vandalised, and roads  are being continuously obstructed, is untenable. 

"We have a responsibility to address lawlessness and restore order to the City of Cape Town," she said, but added that her society and her department in particular has a responsibility to consider the plight of the landless. 

 "Violence will never be the answer to any unfortunate situation we find ourselves in presently; we equally have a responsibility to be proactive in addressing landlessness."

City in court battle over anti-land invasion efforts  

Plato and the City of Cape Town are currently in court battling to prevent the South African Rights Commission (SAHRC) – who have been galvanised by support from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – from procuring the the "common law right to protect property from land invasion".

"The SAHRC is asking the court to declare unlawful the well-established common law principle of 'counter-spoliation', which permits landowners to protect their property against the erection of illegal structures," the City said in a statement on Friday 24 July. 

"The application also seeks the voiding of all existing court orders explicitly permitting the City to protect specific sites from illegal invasion using counter-spoliation."

"If the applicants obtain this relief, it would be almost impossible for landowners to protect their property from unlawful occupation and to prevent people from establishing homes, albeit unlawfully, on the property of others."