Help Scottsville

2016-06-15 06:00

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PARTYING, loitering, littering, and drinking on the street, speeding and high noise levels are some of the main factors affecting many Scottsville residents whose family neighbourhood has now turned into a rowdy student domain.

Karen Morewood, a resident in Golf Road just down the road from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, started a communications group called “Help Scottsville” in order to communicate with residents in the area about the extreme problem of student parties and noise levels.

“We, as residents, need to stand together if anything if anything is going to be done so that our neighbourhood can go back to being family-friendly like it once was. Now some of us don’t even let our children go out onto the street to ride their bikes because there are students drinking on the road just outside our homes,” she said.

Morewood and her family have been living in Scottsville for the past eight years and said that over the years the issue of students and illegal student digs in the area has escalated over the years.

“It gets worse every year. The elderly in the area, who have been living there for many years are thinking about leaving, people are looking at other options, it’s sad to think that the area is changing so much,” she said.

Morewood said that the issue is not with all the students who live in the area, it is with those that are inconsiderate of their neighbours.

“There is just no accountability. We have reached our wits end and we don’t know what to do as a community,” she said.

There are some students in the area who have given their neighbours notice when they are having parties and keep to reasonable times with no inconvenience to their neighbours.

She added that there are numerous illegal digs in the area as well as digs that do not have the owners living on the property which, according to Morewood, is a requirement for running a digs.

Morewood said she started the group purely for communication between the residents if someone has a problem.

“I would like to see action taken against the offending homeowners. If there are by-laws then those need to be enforced. We need to come up with a plan that addresses the needs and concerns of both the residents in the area as well as the students,” she said.

The issue of illegal digs in Scottsville, Pelham and surrounds is not a new one for the municipality who have been dealing with numerous residents in these areas complaining about the influx of students and illegal digs.

According to Morewood, there are six houses in Golf Road alone, that she has identified as troublesome. She has received letters of objections and complaints from various residents in the road opposing the formation of digs in two specific houses and has lodged the objections with the municipality.

“The municipality is aware of the issues relating to student accommodation in Scottsville, that is, the shortage of student accommodation and the conversion of houses to boarding houses. There are mechanisms in place to address this, contravention notices are issued for the illegal usage of houses for student accommodation and also correct application procedures to be followed for municipal approval are available.

The municipality is also in the process of developing a policy that will guide the establishment of student accommodation throughout the municipal area. Interested and affected parties together with the general public will be involved in this process in due course,” said Nqobile Madonda, acting marketing and communications manager for Msunduzi Municipality.

Morewood said that residents in the area do not mind the students.

“We don’t mind having them [students] around but they need to behave. Surely they consider their neighbours when they are having parties. We’re just asking them to be considerate.”

Resident has
started a ‘Help Scottsville’ group

illegal digs
in the area

for more information.

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