PWD bids for order to evict squatters

2013-05-21 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Public Works Department has applied for a court order to evict illegal occupants from three government-owed vacant sites in ­uMzinto and Pietermaritzburg.

Of the department’s 841 vacant properties in the province, only these three are illegally occupied.

A report tabled at the KZN Legislature by the department on Friday revealed that the department has 841 vacant sites in its asset register.

These sites are managed by the department pending their development for use by government departments.

Some of the challenges facing the department in administering these sites are a lack of proper plans by departments for their future use, a lack of funds to maintain and safeguard the sites and payment of rates for an indefinite period, according to the report.

These challenges had resulted in the illegal occupation of two vacant plots in Pietermaritzburg and one in uMzinto.

The site in uMzinto is earmarked for donation to uMdoni Municipality for housing, while the two at Mountain Rise and Raisethorpe would be sold to Msunduzi Municipality for housing development.

“To avoid further illegal invasion of land, the department has, in collaboration with Human Settlements, applied to the high court for an order allowing for eviction of illegal occupants,” read the report.

Human Settlements MEC Ravi Plillay said land invasion was a huge challenge in KZN.

He said that last week the department had won a court battle against land invaders in Durban, and that he was pleased with the outcome.

Committee chairperson Mbali Fraser said the committee fully supported the department to stop land invasions.

“We cannot allow illegal invasion of land. Constitutionally it is incorrect and we are fully behind the department on this,” Fraser said.

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