Residents uneasy after rumours

2018-05-09 06:00
The houses that are in question over when they are going to demolished to make way for a bigger road.PHOTO: byrone athman

The houses that are in question over when they are going to demolished to make way for a bigger road.PHOTO: byrone athman

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ARE we going to be moved? This is the question that has residents, living in council houses at the entrance of New England Road, in a state of panic.

Residents received information from a source contracted to the municipality sta-ting that their houses are soon to be demolished to make way for the expansion of the road they live on.

Residents stated that when they asked the municipality to confirm the allegations they received “vague responses” and feel they are being left in the dark.

“We want to know what is going to happen to us. Are they going to incen- tivise us if we are forced to move? Will we be housed in other areas?” asked Jeanette Campbell a resident to the area for 30 years, who still has not received her title deed.

Campbell said that they have had their fair share of problems living in the council houses and that they have invested their own money into the homes and therefore, deserve title deeds for their houses and answers as to the “looming potential demolition of their homes”.

“My family has built up this house and fixed all the problems in it only for it to be taken away from us. We do not want to move and want our title deed for this house,” said Campbell.

One resident, Ntombifuthi Ngcobo said that she and her family were afraid to undergo any further construction to their home as she feels the houses could be taken away from them at anytime and because technically, they do not own the house.

“We have spent so much money on these houses already to fix the many problems they have only for it to be taken away from us. We will not put any more money into these houses until we are given official title deeds,” said Ngcobo who added that they are opposed to the construction of a road over their property.

Ward 33 councillor Nkululeko Mkhize said that he was aware of the matter and upon inquiry, he was told that the houses were acquired for road widening purposes but that no road works would be taking place in the near future.

“According to the information at my disposal, the demolitions won’t take place any time soon,” said Mkhize.

Though Mkhize was told by the Department of Human Settlements that the road work project is a long-term one and said that he would be keeping up to date with the progress so that when it happens, residents are properly notified.

“I am keeping my finger on the pulse so that I can properly notify the residents and consult with them and see that suitable alternative accommodation is provided to each of the affected families,” said Mkhize.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha failed to respond to the queries sent to her by the Maritzburg Fever before print deadline.

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