On Tuesday, residents occupying private land in Schulphoek, Hermanus, are due back in the high court to oppose their eviction. The application was brought by the owners of the land, Cape Theme Parks and Cavcor.
About 4,000 former Zwelihle backyard dwellers have been occupying the land since March last year. They have named the informal settlement, Dubai. Occupiers resisted numerous attempts by the Red Ants to remove them last year which resulted in unrest and protests in Hermanus.
The Zwelihle community and land occupiers say they were promised that Schulphoek would be used to build houses for backyarders. In 2010, the Overstrand municipality sold the land to property developers Rabcav (a joint venture of Cape Theme Parks and Cavcor).
Rabcav signed an agreement to sell the property to Cape Metropolitan Investments in May 2017 for R30m. The agreement states Rabcav has to hand over vacant land to Cape Metropolitan, hence the eviction proceedings.
In July last year, Stephen Müller, director for infrastructure and planning at Overstrand municipality said, “The minister is negotiating with the owners to buy Schulphoek.” He said that should the sale go through, it could take 24 months before any construction started at Schulphoek.