Homes in danger of falling in river

2014-07-24 00:00

IMAGINE living on a property that is shrinking — falling into the river below.

This is the plight of residents living in Deccan Road, Raisethorpe, along the banks of the Baynespruit. Currently boundary walls are crumbling on some properties on the river front.

Residents of the more than 30 properties affected are concerned that if there are heavy summer rains, their homes may collapse.

They have lobbied the municipality in vain to canalise the stream, but have now learnt that no money has been set aside in the current budget to sort out the problem.

As much as R4 million was earmarked in the 2015/16 budget for the project, and a further R6 million in the 2016/17 budget. But, the residents say this will be too late as some of them may lose more than half their properties by then, if not their entire homes.

The residents have now turned to the Msunduzi Rates Forum (MRF) for help. At a meeting on Tuesday night, MRF chairperson Babs Sithapersad said a detailed document with photographs of the severe erosion was prepared to send to Mayor Chris Ndlela.

Sithapersad said they decided to write to the mayor because there was no response to any of their correspondences with officials on the matter. “There have been repeated requests from the ward councillor Jay Singh for the canalisation to be prioritised and again it has been omitted from the 2014/2015 budget,” he added.

According to Sithapersad, experts had reviewed the situation. “They explained that increased development in the catchment of the stream over the years had resulted in increased run-off from this catchment, exacerbating the erosion problem. These developments were permitted and sometimes carried out by the municipality.”

Adding to the residents’ woes, and a matter aired in Witness Warriors, is that sewerage pipes along the stream have become exposed and have been damaged. Sithapersad said there was a constant stench of sewage in the area. “So far the municipality’s only response has been to spray the area instead of fixing the pipes,” he said.

The meeting resolved that if the mayor did not respond then the grievance would be taken to the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube. If this failed they would go to the national government.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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