Berea stands united

2014-03-10 00:00

THE eThekwini city manager is expected to meet with Berea residents who have been on a campaign to rid the area of crime and grime.

The Save Our Berea Campaign (SOBC), a civic interest group, met with manager Sbu Sithole on Friday where he pledged to “talk directly” to Berea residents at their next community meeting.

Kevin Dunley, a member of SOBC, told The Witness that the civic group left the meeting “feeling upbeat”.

“What was clear was that the city is under-resourced. We know this and what we are proposing is greater involvement from our community in taking control of the Berea.

“We aren’t proposing any radical views; we just simply want the by-laws enforced.

“There are examples on the Berea where this is not the case, especially in relation to buildings approved without the required permissions,” said Dunley.

The SOBC representatives met senior managers from planning, enforcement, building inspectorate and land use management.

The Save Our Berea Campaign was launched last November and is expected to have another meeting before the end of the month. Over 400 people attended last year’s meeting.

“I don’t think there has been a community meeting in Berea that has attracted this many people. The last time we saw numbers like this was when the city introduced a one-way system along Musgrave Road and Stephen Dlamini Road.

“Since November we are witnessing communities within the Berea area coming together.

“People are identifying with the campaign and part of this strength is that it is not politically aligned and we have made this very clear to local politicians. We support all good initiatives,” said Dunley.

Issues taken up by the SOBC working committee to date include:

• The new development at 241 St Thomas Road where building was halted until plans were properly approved;

• 10 Poynton Place campaign to oppose a re-zoning application. The committee helped in getting 45 objections lodged against the re-zoning application; and

• 340 Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Road, where deviation from approved plans and other issues are currently under intense investigation.

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