'Shut down suburban brothels'

2009-04-10 00:00

Residents of Pelham in Pietermaritzburg are calling for the police and the Msunduzi Municipality to step in and shut down brothels that have opened in the suburb.

Clark Road residents who spoke to Weekend Witness on condition of anonymity said two brothels in their street have caused them sleepless nights and they have asked the police and the municipality to act, but to no avail.

A woman who claimed she lives next door to one of the brothels said she has spoken to ward councillor Rodger Ashe about the residents’ discomfort and anger.

She said cars and taxis bearing registration plates from Durban and many other parts of KwaZulu-Natal pull up outside the brothels at all times of the day and night.

“One of my neighbours had to separate two people who were bonking in front of his yard by spraying them with water from a hose pipe. He was gatvol and told them to bugger off,” she said.

Another resident said he suspects that since there was a police crack-down on brothels in Durban recently, “horniness” has migrated to the capital city.

“Most of them are married. I believe the brothels are houses that have been let out to the people who are using them to sell sex. Probably the owners are not even aware that their houses are being used in this manner,” he said.

Ashe confirmed that he has received a number of complaints from residents, but says he has no proof that the houses are brothels.

He said he received the latest complaint about 10 days ago.

“I have made attempts to resolve the issue by reporting it to the municipality, asking them to send someone to inspect the houses, but they have not gotten back to me,” said Ashe.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo said the municipality has received a complaint only about one house.

“We are currently doing an investigation and if the investigation reveals that there is a business operating there, the owner will be served with a section 77 [notice], which specifies that the house is currently zoned as a special residential area according to the town planning scheme,” said Ngcobo.

If it is proved that the house is operating as a business, said Ngcobo, the owner will be given 21 days either to stop operating the business or to file an application for a licence with the municipality.

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