Mayor tells marchers to go to court

2008-02-21 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality can do little to assist in addressing the grievances many tenants have with the Msunduzi housing association (MHA), members of the Prestbury and Chase Valley residents’ associations heard yesterday — much to their disappointment.

This is what Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo told a small group from each association that marched to the city hall yesterday, where they handed her a memorandum of their concerns for her intervention.

To their dismay, Hlatshwayo told the protesters that the MHA is a separate entity from the council and the latter has no authority over them.

She advised the group to appoint a lawyer to represent the residents and take their case to a court of law.

A representative of the residents, Denise Jantjies, said that the tenants are fed up with their complaints to the MHA falling on deaf ears.

Among other issues, the residents feel that the transfer of the council housing stock to the MHA was unprocedural, and left residents uncertain of how the transfer affected them. The housing stock was given to MHA by way of a Deed of Donation and passed by full council.

They also claim that the MHA has failed to adequately maintain the properties it rents out to tenants as most have broken toilets, ceilings and poor security.

MHA CEO Judy Vather said that they were not aware of the march and could not respond to The Witness as the residents had not contacted them.

Vather said that the MHA wrote and informed all tenants following the transfer of the units and that individual maintenance complaints are dealt with within acceptable timeframes. She said that the MHA’s core function is to provide affordable rental housing to city residents; the MHA does not sell homes to tenants.

thabi@witness.co.za

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