hermanus red ants demolition

Photo: Twitter

Hermanus: Red Ants return over “land invasion” concerns

Hermanus was once again tense this week with the Red Ants demolishing structures – ‘peacefully’, according to reports, as a solution to contestation of land continues in the town.

hermanus red ants demolition

Photo: Twitter

The notorious Red Ants have been called back to Hermanus as concerns over a “land invasion” linger, according to the Overstrand Municipality, News24 reported.

Talks for emergency housing is ongoing, but earlier this week, there were incidents of people occupying land close to the Hermanus swimming pool, allegedly without get authorisation from the municipality.

“We had to obtain the services of the Red Ants in demolishing structures,” municipal manager Coenie Groenewald was quoted as saying by News24.

Local media say that over the course of the last three weeks there has been a “surge” of people occupying land on five different plots.

Land activist Gcobani Ndzongana was released on bail on Thursday, the same day that Red Ants began demolishing shacks. Ndzongana was charged with malicious damage to property and incitement. Charges of crimen injuria were withdrawn last week.

“They are demolishing,” Sicelo Gxamesi, a member of the Zwelihle Renewal Committee (ZRC), was quoted as saying by News24.

The Red Ants posted pictures of the demolition job on social media. News24 reported that the process was “peaceful”.

In August, GroundUp reported that no progress had been made with investigations into injuries inflicted by police during the recent protests in Zwelihle, near Hermanus, according to Zwelihle Renewal committee member Siyabulela Notwala.

Hermanus has been a hotbed for so-called ‘invasions’ for much of the year. The Democratic Alliance went so far as to claim that protests and land occupation in the town were part of a “larger strategy” by the ruling party to make the province ungovernable. The ANC denied those claims.

According to the DA, by July this year, there had been at least 176 land invasions in the City of Cape Town and 87 land invasions across the rest of the province since January.

At the centre of the storm is a piece of land with a convoluted history which has been going on for nearly two decades. The Schulphoek land is a particular sticking point. News24 revealed in May how land owners are likely to score big should the land be sold.