France stunned by luxury homes

2014-10-07 00:00

RESIDENTS of France are demanding answers from the Msunduzi Municipality about land earmarked for low-cost housing in neighbouring Thornville, on which houses have been built.

The municipality had earmarked the land at Ambleton and Slangspruit for phase three of a low-cost housing scheme. However, plots were occupied by people not intended as beneficiaries, who have developed the land. The municipality lost a court battle in trying to evict them.

Mduduzi Hlongwane, member of a committee established to represent the original beneficiaries, told The Witness that the land was earmarked for them to benefit, but now people are building luxury houses on the land and the municipality is not taking action against them.

“Since 2010 we have been waiting for the municipality to build RDP houses for us, as it was promised before but nothing has been done to the land by the municipality. Only private homes are built on the same land while we are waiting.

“We see that the land is getting full with luxury homes while no RDP house has been built for us. We want to know from the municipality why we are not being attended to,” said Hlongwane.

He said the municipality was also no longer briefing them about developments in relation to the scheme.

A man who has built a house one of the plots told The Witness that he had bought the plot for his family from a committee representing Thornville residents.

“We paid R5 000 for the plot and we did not get a title deed. The choice was for the individual to either take the land without a title deed or to leave the area,” he said.

France resident Nombuso Ngubo was angry that they were suffering because people with money had bought the land.

“This is unfair to us, because we are poor. The rich of this town continue to build their luxury houses illegally on that land earmarked for low-cost houses. The municipality must find a way to remove them. We are renting where we are because we are waiting for our RDP houses,” said Ngubo.

Thornville committee member Nicky Gebashe confirmed to The Witness that they don’t have title deeds to the land.

“We don’t have title deeds and the municipality lost the battle in court when they tried to evict us as the land does not belong to them. This land belongs to the community,” said Gebashe.

The municipality said it was still looking at ways to evict the Thornville residents.

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