AfriForum encourages property owners to protect their property against illegal occupation themselves by joining a community structure. In this regard, the civil rights organisation is circulating a quick guide that people can consult to protect their property in case of illegal occupation.
“The guide is especially relevant in the country’s current political climate, also in terms of the property issue that brought about much insecurity in many parts of the community. We will end up like Zimbabwe if communities do not organise themselves and act within the framework of current legislation to resist the attempt to seize their hard-earned property,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Safety.
Cameron believes that well-organised community safety structures such as farm and neighbourhood watch systems not only help to curb crime, but also to prevent and curb political offenses.
“Land-owners have rights that political rhetoric cannot deny them. People can protect their property by instituting legal action when land is occupied, but especially by proactively acting to prevent occupation.”
Cameron explains that civil cases should be opened against people who illegally erect residential structures and where occupiers live undisturbed.
“When occupiers are aware that they have occupied land illegally, however, structures may be broken down, provided that a case of trespassing had been opened with the SAPS right from the onset. The SAPS are required to always comply with the Occupation of Land Act. Be vigilant and report any illegal occupiers to the SAPS immediately. Prevention is better than cure.”
Pro-active solution discussed in the guide include vigilance, joining farm or neighbourhood watches, supervision, and occupation and access control. The legal removal of structures (occupied and unoccupied) is also discussed in the guide.
Members of the public can access the guide by clicking on the following link: https://www.afriforum.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Grondgrype_Eng-2018.pdf.
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