Railway land: Transnet asks to evict settlers

2012-10-18 00:00

TRANSNET Freight Rail has launched an application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to evict about 90 people allegedly illegally occupying railway land in Woodlands.

Transnet yesterday obtained an order authorising it to serve notice of the pending application on the group. The Msunduzi Municipality is cited as a respondent, as it has a constitutional duty to assist homeless people in its jurisdiction. Court documents show the eviction application could be heard on November 14.

Attorney Kenneth Diedricks said Transnet had started negotiating with Msunduzi for the removal of 54 homes built in settlement as far back as 2002. He said the proximity of the shacks to a railway line posed great danger to the lives of both the illegal occupiers and Transnet employees. Diedricks said there had also been reports of a high rate of theft in the area of steel railway clips, which fasten the railway line to sleepers, increasing the danger of train derailments.

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