New land grab strategies: Land owners should be vigilant

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AfriBusiness is currently busy assisting land owners in Kameelfontein north of Pretoria to obtain an urgent eviction order against illegal land invaders. The latest tendency is for a small group of individuals to identify a piece of land, where after they organise large numbers of people to occupy it. The group who has “sold” the land apparently lawfully to these invaders for between R500 and R5 000 eventually disappears with the money.

Occupiers who have “bought” the land lose all their money and building material when they are evicted from the property. The greatest losers of these types of invasions are eventually the land owner and the invaders who got caught in the trap. It can cost an owner up to R250 000 to have these invaders evicted, with almost no chance of successfully claiming back these costs from either Government or the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Property owners should ensure that the following preventive measures are in place to act proactively against the invasion of their properties:

  1. Ensure that you secure your property sufficiently by erecting walls or fences and affixing locks.
  2. Remain vigilant and ensure that no unauthorised persons enter your property. If this happens, contact you nearest police station and lay a criminal complaint of trespassing in terms of the Trespass Act, 1959 (Act No 6 of 1959). The SAPS disseminated directives to all its stations in March this year to carefully explain to SAPS members how to act in these cases. These directives can be viewed at AfriBusiness’s web site at www.afrisake.co.za.
  3. Property owners have the right to immediately act against illegal trespassers, as long as it is within the boundaries of the law. Owners may also request private security to patrol the property and/or secure it when invasion occurs.
  4. Join organisations such as AfriBusiness who assist members in the protection of their property rights.

See the directives attached: Crime Trespassing Squatting and other Violation of Acts Governing and Controlling Land Ownership

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