Residents of Covid informal settlement want CapeNature to help them find new land, but CapeNature says it is not their responsibility
Covid is an informal settlement that was established on Driftsands Nature Reserve during the pandemic lockdowns. The reserve is managed by CapeNature.
The occupiers have been served with eviction notices and have to vacate the land by 25 June.
On Monday about 400 Covid residents protested and a clash with police ensued.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse protestors who had blocked the entrance to the Driftsands Nature Reserve on Monday evening. Community members were dragged away from the gate, and we saw two community members being shot with rubber bullets. At least five community members were arrested, and Covid community leader Luthando Mncuntula handed himself over to the police.
About 400 residents of the Covid informal settlement, which is located in the Driftsands Nature Reserve, sat down in front of the entrance to the Driftsands Nature Reserve Environmental Centre on Monday afternoon, preventing workers from entering or leaving the premises.
They were demanding that CapeNature representatives address their demands for new land to live on.
Earlier in June the occupiers of this land near Mfuleni had been served with eviction notices and had until 25 June to vacate the nature reserve. Most of the settlement lies within the Driftsands Nature Reserve, which is administered by CapeNature on behalf of the Western Cape Government.
Then, about 45 shacks in the settlement were washed away in floods last week. Local and provincial governments do not consider the land safe for habitation.
Residents told us that they are willing to move from the reserve, but that CapeNature must identify land where they can live, service it, and help them to move. The Covid informal settlement was settled in 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns.
When we arrived at Driftsands at 2pm on Monday, some CapeNature workers who had left for lunch…