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Silent land grab happening in Joburg

There are probably many well-heeled business people who talk, around their braai fires or at their elegant dinners, about how the country has gone to the dogs because of soaring crime.

These same people, though, think nothing of theft themselves – whether that be underpaying their workers, dodging their tax dues or, as we report today, simply stealing property which belongs to a municipality to benefit their businesses.

ALSO READ: Maile blames illegal land grabs for growing informal settlements

This silent land grab is happening around Joburg and Ekurhuleni, as city pavements are snatched up for parking places or to extend the space of restaurants – all without permission.

Sometimes, the arrogance of the land thieves knows no bounds: people parking “illegally” in these places are threatened with having their vehicles clamped or locked so they cannot be moved. All over our cities, this blatant contempt for municipal bylaws is spreading like a cancer.

Advertisers showcase their wares on billboards which are erected illegally, some of which pose a threat to motorists on roads and highways and some which endanger pedestrians, like school children, because they are distracting to drivers.

ALSO READ: EFF blasts courts ‘captured by white establishment’ following land grabs ruling

It’s easy to see why this is happening. This is a country where criminal behaviour seldom has consequences.

Besides, in many cases like the ones we report on today, these are seen as “victimless crimes” and people concerned about the blatant flouting of the law are often told to “chase the real criminals”. You are the real criminals, though.

You cannot expect to ever see a country getting back on the straight and narrow if you decide which laws you will obey and which you won’t. And, big brands which are involved cannot simply blame their agents or suppliers. It is your brand which is out there, manifestly part of something which is illegal.

ALSO READ: City of Tshwane condemns EFF land grabs

It’s about time all of us refused to tolerate these criminals in our midst.

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/opinion/silent-land-grab-happening-in-joburg/

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