National Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu on Wednesday received the long awaited report on the evictions that took place in Lwandle’s Nomzamo informal settlement in Cape Town in June this year. Although at a press briefing at Parliament, Sisulu could not give details of the contents of the report, but said she wished to ensure that what took place on the coldest day of Cape Town’s winter would never happen again anywhere in the country under her watch.
“I put together this enquiry so that I could have the necessary background [information] as to why people would invade this land in the first place, and also how this particular eviction occurred. As the minister for Human Settlements it is my responsibility to ensure that all rules and laws under me are applied and enforced. These actions are based on the constitution and based on the powers and responsibilities given to me.”
She said the contents of the report handed over to her by Commission of Enquiry Chairperson Advocate Denzil Potgieter would service as a guide for future evictions that take place on a large scale. The Lwandle eviction of 800 families in the blistering cold became headline news and gripped the nation. She said although the residents had occupied the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s land illegally, the treatment by authorities and the company was unfair.
“This will serve as a blueprint for the future, so that this does not take place like this anywhere else in the country, at least not while I am Minister.”
Commission of Enquiry chairperson Advocate Potgieter said although he is not allowed to divulge specifics, details are given in the report handed to Sisulu on individuals and role-players that were responsible for what occurred in June.
Sisulu will first digest the report, then hand it over to all parties involved, including local Western Cape government, the City of Cape Town as well as SANRAL. It will also be presented to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on housing who will dissect the report. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)