The City of Johannesburg says it has seen a worrying trend where criminal syndicates are using the national lockdown to invade open spaces and land.
The city said it was particularly concerned about land invasions around Lawley in the south of Johannesburg, and has directed the Johannesburg Metro Police Department to act swiftly to protect its own assets and the assets private citizens for the greater interests of all citizens.
“The City, working together with the Provincial Department of Social Development, has made provision for the homeless people across the City. Therefore, we will not tolerate unlawful invasions under the false pretence or narrative that people are homeless,” it said.
“The City is concerned that people are using this Lockdown period to take advantage of the law by illegally invading land.
“Residents are urged to work together with the city and adhere to the laws governing this country and not act in an unlawful manner that may results in demolition of illegal structures and possible arrests.”
The city also reminded residents to observe the regulations and the lockdown pronounced by President Cyril Ramaphosa and accept that no illegal behaviour will be tolerated during this period.
Law enforcement will continue to be increased during this period and beyond, it said.