Seven years after a landmark judgment, the City of Cape Town has finally bought the privately owned land where thousands of families live at Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East.

This comes more than a decade after the land was first occupied. 

It has been reported that Western Cape High Court Judge Chantal Fortuin in 2017 ordered the city to negotiate with the owners to purchase the land on which the Marikana informal settlement is located.

In 2015, the community had more than 60 000 residents which has now grown to more than 100 000. Residents have for years demanded that the city buy the land so that it can install services such as electricity and water.

GroundUp reports that Marikana households rely on illegal connections. Residents have for years demanded that the city buy the land so that services can be provided.

Eskom last week sent a team to the area and removed about 300 illegal electricity connections. 

Community leader Loyiso Nqitiza said they are expecting to have a meeting with the city to discuss the development and upgrading of Marikana.

‘The sooner the upgrading commences, the better for the people,’ said Nqitiza.

The city’s Mayoral Committee member for human settlements, Carl Pophaim, told GroundUp the officials were busy with the compulsory feasibility studies needed to obtain development rights for Marikana. Once all planning approvals were received, the city would begin upgrading the informal settlement, said Pophaim.

He said the land was purchased ‘at the cost determined during the mediation process’.

‘A period of 18 to 24 months is required for all statutory processes to be completed,’ he said.

These processes started in November 2023.

Full GroundUp report