The Gauteng Department of Human Resources says that although it did not authorize the demolition of homes in Evaton West on Wednesday, it warned people against illegal seizure of land or homes.

On Wednesday, social media posted a video of the demolition, which reported that homeowners in Evaton West had paid 22,000 rupees for construction on land allegedly owned by a private company.

The man they allegedly paid the money said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika that he worked in partnership with the government, but department spokesman Fred Mokoka said they did not know him.

“If he had been attached to the human settlements department, we would have known who was doing it, where he was sitting and in which office,” Mokoko told the channel’s news on Thursday night.

According to him, the agency has intensified the campaign to combat illegal occupation of land and houses since 2019, as well as warned people against people who take their money and give them land that does not belong to them.

“Some people have been there before [RDP houses] were even completed. But some cases concern this illegality.

“When you buy a house, you don’t do it in a shaky corner; the house is registered with the municipality and the bank. If it is a development, then it will be associated with the bank. There are also private buildings where private people or banks will extract land for private buildings or houses. As the land invasion occurs, people walk around claiming that the government is selling the land, and if that were the case, we would advertise where we sell the land, and would give contact people. These people don’t just work with cell phones. They also work with landlines, and there will be an office where people can go. Where you can’t find these things and you’ve been told the land costs 5,000 rupees, you should have your questions, ”Mokoko said.

READ ALSO: Institute of Rights calls on Sisulu to stop “illegal” demolition

“The people of South Africa are very smart, you can take them for granted at your own risk. Some of the people have heard us talking over and over again, even as the MEC Lebogang Mail went on television and radio, warning people not to occupy land illegally and not to buy land illegally. We are not going to blame people, but we are also not going to deny the fact that we have spoken many times. “

Mokoko said some people took advantage of the pandemic and decided to occupy the land illegally, knowing they would not be evicted.

“Even the private sector has not evicted people, but now that the disaster relief law has been relaxed, it is important for people to know that where they have illegally occupied land, they will unfortunately be evicted.”

And some evictions do not leave the public or private sector the responsibility to find alternative housing for the evicted.

“This is because once we present our case in court and show evidence that we warned people about the illegal occupation of land, it will be decided in court,” Mokoko said.

He said the department has a court ruling on evictions and demolition of homes in the same area, and does not need to find alternative housing for the owners.

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