Land invasion is the occupation of land for the purpose of building a dwelling or establishing a settlement without the express or tacit consent of the owner of the land or the person in charge of the land, or without any other right in law to settle on or occupy such land.
Land Invasion Control is a branch of the Alternative Operations Department within the Security Management Unit of eThekwini Municipality. The staff establishment consists of 101 with just over 75% of them filled.
Functions and Deployment
Staff can be deployed at any of the +587 informal settlements throughout eThekwini Municipality. As a result of the vastness of the area, 60 changeable key areas over three Regions are identified for staff to perform they functions over. These functions include:
Patrolling of key areas to prevent or detect the unlawful occupation of Municipal-owned land and land of interest to the Council.
Remove unlawful occupiers from this land.
Demolish any unlawfully built structures.
Provide security to Human Settlements Unit staff during the relocation of housing beneficiaries and verification of settlements.
The Branch operates on a flexible hour shift system with the Radio Room been operational 24 hours.
Mode of Operation
Land Invasion Control is an in-house security service provider which renders a service to line departments within the Council. At most times, reports of unlawful occupation attempts are received from these departments. That department will then indicate which structures are to be demolished and that will be undertaken by Land Invasion Control. The profiles of informal settlements are maintained by Human Settlements Unit.
Other than line departments, members of the public hugely contribute to the reporting of unlawful occupation of land.
All land invasion incidents can be reported through the Security Management Unit’s Radio Room by telephoning:
Land Invasion Control will thereafter attend to these incidents with the respective land owners and all stakeholders which the incident would affect.
DO! Switch off electrical appliances and pull out the plug when you are finished using them
Keep matches away from children. Don’t let children get a hold of matches and lighters. If they do, they WILL play with them.
Prepare and practice evacuation from your home. Don't wait until you have any emergency. Prepare so that you know nothing will prevent your safe escape.
Try and afford a smoke detector to give you early warning of a fire. If you have one of these, it keeps watch while you are asleep and gives you early warning of danger, allowing you to deal with it, or escape.
Place burning candles and stoves on a surface which will not burn if they are knocked over or forgotten. Keep things that can burn away from the stove.
Don’t smoke in bed. You may get away with it but it could catch you and if it does, it’s for keeps.
Don’t lock people in: Never lock people into their homes or workplaces so they can’t escape if an emergency occurs. Always see that children are supervised.
Memorize the number to report emergencies, you never know when you will need it: 031 361 0000
Don’t hesitate to contact Fire Safety on (031) 322 0920/19 for advice.
The eThekwini Municipality established Safer Cities project in 2000 in collaboration with the United Nations Habitat.
This concept was adopted after the International Conference for Crime Prevention Partnership to Build Community Safety which was held in 1998. It was attended by the Mayors from National and International arena.
The aim of the Safer Cities is to ensure that every citizen within the eThekwini Municipality is safe, and shares common understanding on community safety issues. Other stakeholders include all council departments, South African Police Service, NGOs, Community Safety Structures, Business Forum, National and Provincial Government Departments.
The role of Safer Cities is to plan and implement community safety initiatives through an inclusive, multidisciplinary, preventative approach.
Safer Cities has the following programmes:
Social Crime Prevention Awareness Campaigns, Training and Dialogues
Anti-Substance Abuse Programmes
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Programmes
Gender Based Violence Interventions
Community Safety Forum
Homelessness (skills development & social services)