Jika Joe shacks destroyed

2012-08-20 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipality demolished more than 15 shacks in Jika Joe informal settlement last week.

Residents in the settlement said they were not given notice and that they just witnessed municipal employees demolishing their shacks.

One resident Vuyani Rangxa said what the municipality did was illegal as they had no court order to demolish their shacks.

“These people know very well that they should give shack dwellers a place to stay. This has some criminal element because they just demolished my shack with my furniture inside. I was at work when they did this,” another resident Nthati Molefe said. She added that her television set and money were missing.

Municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said municipal security met with the committee to warn shack dwellers in that particular area that people needed to discontinue invading the land.

“Structures that were demolished were unoccupied. It is untrue that we demolished occupied structures, except in one case where an invader attempted to take goods into the shack and our guys removed the goods and demolished the shack,” said Zuma.

He said that they did not break any law by demolishing unoccupied shacks to prevent land invasion.

Ward councillor Naleni Atwaru said: “I have reported the increase in new informal settlement dwellings on the demand of the already existing informal settlement dwellers, and the frustrated residents of the ‘Willowton Village’ area, who have to endure frequent power outages, waste, dirt and filth in their area which emanates from the settlement. The increase of illegal dwellings adds to the problems already encountered.”

She said she was advised that notice was given to the illegal informal settlers to bring down the structures.

They had, however, continued to build and therefore drastic action had to be taken.

“This type of lawlessness cannot be condoned. The correct procedures should be followed in order to exercise their constitutional right to access housing,” said Atwaru.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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