/ 11 September 2007

Minister: ‘Legal solutions’ needed after Cape protest

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday threatened forced removals in the wake of this week’s housing protests in Cape Town.

”Until now, no attempts have been made to force residents of the informal settlement at Joe Slovo to move,” she said in a statement.

”We are now convinced that in order to protect property already constructed at Joe Slovo — and to ensure the integrity of development process — we have to seek legal intervention.”

On Monday, an estimated 2 000 protesters clashed with police alongside the N2 highway.

They were opposing their temporary relocation to Delft to make way for the development of new homes at the Gateway project alongside Joe Slovo.

Sisulu said on Monday if Joe Slovo residents did not cooperate they would be removed from all housing waiting lists.

In Tuesday’s statement, she said she had instructed her department to look at ”legal solutions” to clearing the land.

”Precisely because the N2 Gateway is a pilot project, we have bent over backwards to ensure that we accommodated the challenges and problems we encountered at every step,” she said. — Sapa