Relocation: Umngeni on track to move 47 families

2011-12-15 00:00

UMNGENI Municipality is on track to meet the Pietermaritzburg court order deadline to provide alternate accommodation for residents of Tumble-weed, who have to be moved to make way for a school.

Acting municipal manager Steve Simpson confirmed that the move would be in two phases. The 47 affected families will be given temporary accommodation before the end of January, where they will live until permanent homes have been built. The municipality is applying for funding from the Human Settlements Department for funds to build the houses.

The court order was granted by agreement between the residents and the municipality after the municipality applied to evict the residents to make way for a new school.

It brings to an end a dispute that started in 2009 when protesting residents accused the municipality of using tractors to demolish their homes. At issue was the residents’ insistence that they wanted to remain in the area and that there was enough room for them and a school.

Simpson confirmed that the residents would be housed close to the school site.

He said the municipality’s involvement was a result of a request by the Amambuzane Tribal Land Trust for the municipality to move the residents as the Education Department was planning to build a school on the site.

This was because of a shortage of schools in the area and overcrowding at the nearby Cosmos Primary School in Merrivale. The matter was settled in time as it means construction of the school can begin in the current financial year.

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