Tenants consider approaching the court over rude noisemakers

2019-05-15 06:01
photo: andile sithole Tenants at La Fontana Centre want noisy community members banned from playing music and drinking in public.

photo: andile sithole Tenants at La Fontana Centre want noisy community members banned from playing music and drinking in public.

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DISGRUNTLED tenants residing in a block of flats at La Fontana Centre in Greytown are rallying to stop a group of people who have occupied the front of the centre and have turned it into an all-night spot for partying.

The group of noisemakers is accused of keeping tenants awake every weekend by playing loud music.

Some of the tenants who spoke to the Gazette also claimed to have seen couples fornicating on the pavement.

Tenants wished to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation and said that some senior municipal workers, police officers and bank employees are among the group causing the disturbance.

According to the tenants and business owners, the group of more than 100 people park their cars and play music from 7 pm every Friday until 5 am on Saturday mornings.

A tenant who did not want to be named, said: “It’s almost a year now that we have been complaining to the authorities to come and remove these people. They [noisemakers] are rude and aggressive. Some of the tenants have left the building due to the excessive noise piercing our ears every weekend. “These people come with camp chairs, cooler boxes and play music so loud from 7 pm until 5 am in the morning. When we approach them to please turn off the music, they become aggressive and want to fight with us.

“Most of them are municipal workers and bank employees, and some of them are members of the SAPS. I have been living here for the past seven years but we have never had a problem with people playing music full blast like this.

“The police will then enforce the bylaws once they are put up in place. The police will not be able to arrest these guys if there are no municipal bylaws. “We need urgent intervention from the mayor and municipal manager. Our children can’t even sleep at night — they wake up at midnight crying due to the excessive noise at the ground floor.

“Even tenants from other nearby flats complain about the same thing. I have witnessed women relieving themselves on our driveways. Other drunk women do the same on the road. We have made several attempts to put an end to this nonsense but all have proved to be fruitless,” he said.

The source said visits to the office of the municipal manager and mayor’s office to try to resolve the issue have been in vain.

“I approached the Greytown SAPS to come and arrest these people as our families are exposed to indecency of all kinds.

“We signed a petition in November last year, and it was handed over to the mayor’s PA and municipal manager’s PA to take steps and launch an investigation. We have not received any response nor an acknowledgement of our letters,” he said.

A business owner near the building said: “In the morning I have to clean up pieces of broken bottles in front of my business. Other tenants suggested that we should approach the court,” he said.

Operations manager of Mzigi Security, Ganga Moodley, said when the police try to remove the people, the feared group terrorises even the police.

“There are cases whereby the police have had to leave after the gang told them to back off.

“I feel that the municipality should have strict bylaws in place to prevent these acts from occurring in the future."

Director of Van Rooyen and Forder Incorporated, who wished to be identified as Mr Scott and who acts on behalf of Kharodia Properties, owners of La Fontana Centre said: “In terms of the old Liquor Act it was an offence to drink in public. The new legislation does not provide for such an offence, but passes the responsibility, to make regulations for consuming alcohol in public to municipalities. We have written a letter to Umvoti Municipality to approve and promulgate such regulations so that the police can act against the people who drink in public in front of the centre. But we didn’t get any response.” Spokesperson for Umvoti Municipality Phindile Phungula said: “As it is public knowledge, there have been national bylaws prohibiting public drinking for a number of years now, though they were not fully enforced everywhere.

“As Umvoti Municipality, we are scheduled to host a workshop which seeks to table and approve local bylaws which will enforce the national public order. The workshop is scheduled for 21 and 22 May, with gazetting expected to happen shortly thereafter.

“We [municipality] are aware of numerous complaints from tenants and have received numerous updates from SAPS too, but never a petition nor a formal complaint. These complaints prompted us to schedule the workshop which will make it easier for our local law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with those that test the law.”

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