Tensions are still high in Vrygrond and there’s a police presence along Prince Geroge Drive after Vrygrond Avenue was closed due to protests.
Residents started protesting after the City of Cape Town demolished structures on Friday May 24 and Monday May 27. The structures had been erected on a piece of land, known as Xakabantu, that’s part of the neighbouring nature reserve.
Exactly a year ago violent protests broke out around the same issue when protesters looted a bottle store at the Capricorn Square shopping centre and targeted private property, set three vehicles alight and petrol bombed New World Foundation in Lavender Hill.
Community worker Daniel Nomavela said a piece of land belongs to the people of Vrygrond and people have vowed to take it back.
“Land invasion came and demolished wendy houses that were put up on the land,” he said, referring to the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit.
“Vrygrond is overcrowded and people started putting up structures because they were promised the land years before houses were even built in Vrygrond. People are angry and need homes,” he said.
Ward councillor Gerry Gordon said the structured had been demolished because a court order had been granted to stop occupation on the land.
“The land is part of the nature reserve and therefore cannot be occupied,” she said.
Police and other law enforcement agencies are still monitoring the situation in Vrygrond Avenue.