Neighbours complain about crèche

2013-10-04 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG residents are up in arms over a crèche they say is operating illegally in the city centre.

Kinderland day care and pre-primary in Burger Street has 13 carers who take care of 60 children aged between three months and six years old.

The residents near the facility feel the non-compliant crèche should have been shut down. They claim the Msunduzi Municipality has failed to act against the crèche.

Sagaren Pillay is fed up with the noise, traffic and the fact that the house plans had not been approved by the municipality.

“I lodged an objection in April this year about the newly opened crèche next door to my home. It seems nothing has been done. I was not informed of this,” he said.

“We have a huge noise problem with all the people around the area. My entire front verge is full of cars in the mornings. I cannot drive off safely due to the obstructions of vehicles parked on either side of my driveway,” said Pillay.

He said the municipality is taking a long time to shut the place down, while they are faced with these problems every day.

The owner of the day care centre, Shamit Bhoola, said since the crèche was opened in April, his neighbours have been trying to close it down. He attributed the complaints to business rivalry.

“Before the opening, we managed to get 100 signatures from residents, but now there are objections from three people, of which two are our competitors in the business.”

The two competitors objected that there was no need for more schools in the area.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said, “The property was inspected and it was discovered that there were illegal alterations and that the property was used as a crèche without approval from council.”

He said that the owner has been prosecuted for illegal alterations as he violated the bylaws, and has since applied for a special consent to make the crèche compliant.

“With regard to the use of the property as a crèche, a contravention notice was served, a special consent application has been submitted to council and this was advertised in the paper. The environmental health section has indicated that the site can accommodate a maximum of 65 children,” said Zuma.

He added that should the consent not be granted by council, the crèche will be closed down.

The owner of the property, Shanny Perumal, admitted that he was prosecuted and fined R7 500 for the alterations.

Social development spokesperson Vukani Mbhele said they will be checking if the crèche is compliant. “If the operation is found to be an illegal operation it will have to be closed down. Children will have to be placed elsewhere until they comply,”

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