Residents up in arms over house demolitions

2015-11-11 06:01
A resident stands where her house used to be after it was demolished in Ezinketheni two months ago. PHOTO: supplied

A resident stands where her house used to be after it was demolished in Ezinketheni two months ago. PHOTO: supplied

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ANGRY residents, whose houses were demolished without a court order by municipal guards in Ezinketheni near Copesville two months ago, have filed legal action against the municipality.

Through their legal representatives, residents are demanding that the municipality restore the houses back to the way they were. More than 30 houses were demolished after the municipality claimed they had been illegally built on its land. Despite a march to the Premier’s Office last month to seek intervention from provincial authorities, to date residents remain homeless.

Speaking to Echo a community member, who did not want to be identified, said they are still shocked at how the matter was handled as most of the houses were demolished while occupants were not at home. One resident, who has sought legal action, Phindile Ngcobo, said she did not know that the land belonged to the municipality after she bought it from a “housing committee” in 2014.

She said they have access to electricity and water which was installed by the municipality, so they didn’t think the land was in dispute.

“We were told that the prices vary as some start from R800 upwards. I bought my site for R1 000. In November last year I started fencing the house off and eventually started building in February. We spent so much money on building material and were shocked at the cruelty [by the municipality].”

Another resident said corruption by the so-called “housing committee” has caused a lot of problems in the area as people believe they are entitled to the land after paying huge amounts of money.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said:“We received a letter from their legal representatives. The land in question belongs to the council and is earmarked for a developmental project. Before the demolitions, occupants were notified”.

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