A large group of disgruntled South Africans gathered together in Waterfall on Saturday on the command of an EFF leader, encouraging them to occupy any vacant land they choose. Washington Maponyane told eNCA that they had located a large piece of vacant land they planned to occupy as there had been countless meetings regarding land expropriation without compensation while the issues of accommodation in Alexandra had not been addressed. He said: “The majority of community members in the ward, in Greater Alexandra, saw there was a need for accommodation because currently, we don’t have accommodation.” The group attempted to tear down the fence of the property and build shacks on the land after "registering" for land in Marlboro.
The group that gathered in Waterfall were showing their identity documents so that they could be given land, however, The City of Johannesburg has ruled that land distribution will be undertaken within the confines of the law. The Johannesburg Housing MMC, Mzobanzi Ntuli, said: “We understand the frustrations our communities are facing, but what we are saying is our offices are open. Let the communities engage us about certain pieces of land that is available around our city, instead of just taking. Once you just take it, there are criminal processes. That is why I'm saying, let the government take full control in terms of distributing land to people."
6 people were arrested on the scene and charged with malicious damage to property. The Democratic Alliance, SA's official opposition, is appealing to President Cyril Ramaphosa to put a stop to land invasions in the country. The party’s John Moodey says: “It’s becoming a national threat and therefore we call upon the powers, be that at the national level, especially president Cyril Ramaphosa, to bring back law and order and also to protect the rights of every South African citizen to possess and own land.”
The government now has the task of keeping a delicate balance between impatient citizens who are demanding land and allocating land without violating human rights.