Msunduzi acts on land grabbers

2019-09-06 15:00
A file image after the police rushed to the City Hall following an explosion outside the council chamber.

A file image after the police rushed to the City Hall following an explosion outside the council chamber. (MOEKETSI MAMANE)

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Msunduzi has had to chase away land grabbers who have for months been trying to erect structures on a vacant plot of land on Chota Motala (Old Greytown) Road.

The large piece of land is at the upper end of Chota Motala Road, near Bombay Road.

It is not far from a vacant plot of land which was the subject of a land grab earlier this year, which ended after the invaders were interdicted by the owner, Realgem Investments CC, from building structures there.

Residents noticed people cutting grass and carrying timber onto another piece of land, apparently with the intention of erecting structures.

The residents met on Sunday with councillors and Msunduzi representatives. PR councillor Rachel Soobiah said the land concerned is privately owned and they trying to contact the owner.

“We did go past the area a few times and did see people trying to put up structures. We will track down the owner and encourage them to make a court application to make sure this doesn’t continue.

“But, at the same time, we won’t just sit back and watch while this happens. It is a crime and we won’t just sit on our hands.”

Soobiah believes it may be the same group who attempted to build structures on the other plot earlier this year.

“Yes, we do need housing for our people, but we won’t tolerate this. Law enforcement will monitor the situation. This will be an ongoing thing and it will be monitored on a daily basis.”

One nearby resident said they had noticed people milling around the land recently. “We see them burning grass to clear the area. At night we can hear people using hammers to build something.

“We can see people sneaking things like timber onto the land.”

He said residents feared an informal settlement popping up that would devalue properties, and could cause an increase in crime and theft of electricity — something that has happened in other parts of the northern areas.

“Municipal resources cannot intervene because it is privately owned, so hopefully the owner comes on board and sorts the matter out.”

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said: “Msunduzi’s land invasion team met with the community and the councillors. They were informed that the land is private.

“Our team assisted in chasing people away. Police were also informed. Illegal land invasion is a serious crime and perpetrators will be prosecuted,” she warned.

The Witness reported last week on land grabs in other parts of Northdale, like Newholmes Way, Bombay Road, Silver Road, Regina Road and parts of the Belfort area.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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