Bitter harvest

So-called “shack farmers“ deserve their own special place in hell for preying on the misery and desperation of the poorest of the poor.

Selling and leasing land they don’t own to people who are vulnerable and struggling to put food on the table is one of the cruellest cons – a truly bitter harvest.

This alarming trend underscores not only just how bleak life has become for those in poor communities but also the scale of the housing crisis facing Cape Town.

The municipality seems to be spending too much time and energy reacting to the mushrooming shanty towns. Instead, it needs to shift gear and find a way to prevent land invasions before they happen. And policing is not the answer, and neither is waiting for national government.

A crisis of this magnitude demands a coordinated response, drawing in government, business and academia, to examine where the problems lie and find solutions. They need look for those solutions with urgency, as if lives depend on them… because they do.