Angry Sobantu residents vow to intensify protest over houses

2018-04-24 16:15
Sobantu residents blocked the road on Monday during a protest over a housing project that was supposed to have started 10 years ago.

Sobantu residents blocked the road on Monday during a protest over a housing project that was supposed to have started 10 years ago. (Ian Carbutt)

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“Where are the thousand housing units we were promised?”

This was the question asked by Sobantu residents on Monday as they took Msunduzi Municipality to task over a housing project that was supposed to have started 10 years ago.

The now scrapped project would have seen 1 000 families from the crowded township being accommodated.

Angry residents blockaded the roads with burning tyres on Monday demanding to know what had happened to funds earmarked for the units that were to have been built on Hollingwood site.

“They had a sod-turning event in 2008 and another one in 2012 but nothing has been built so far,” said Bongani Vilakazi, a community member.

“They came back some time ago to say that they had done some tests on the site and that now the number of units would decrease because of the results of the assessment. They did not tell us how much would be the decrease. That was the last time we heard about the project from the municipality,” he said.

Vilakazi said the municipality had also promised residents a block of flats which would accommodate 200 families, but that also had not happened. “We are crowded here in Sobantu and there is no development in this area,” he added..

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha told The Witness on Monday that the municipality had abandoned the project.

“The project on the Hollingwood site will not proceed because of the high toxicological effects on humans emanating from the site. This information was communicated previously,” she said.

Community members vowed to intensify their protest.

“We will not stop protesting until the MEC for Housing [Ravi Pillay] comes and address our concerns. We do not want anyone from Msunduzi, we do not trust them,” said Vilakazi.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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