Tamboville homes razed

2017-06-07 13:45
A man carries his daughter as he searches through their belongings from his demolished house after Msunduzi municipal workers tore down informal houses in Tamboville on Tuesday.

A man carries his daughter as he searches through their belongings from his demolished house after Msunduzi municipal workers tore down informal houses in Tamboville on Tuesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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Scores of families yesterday spent the chilly night in the open after the Msunduzi Municipality demolished their shacks in Tamboville.

Armed security guards and bulldozers moved into the Tamboville informal settlement on Tuesday morning, leaving behind a trail of destruction as informal housing structures were razed to the ground.

The City accused the residents of occupying the land illegally.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the land was illegally occupied. “The municipality obtained a court order to remove them. Several engagements were made by the councillor and ward committee for them to move beforehand.

“Most of the occupants have their homes but were renting these houses out to tenants. They were aware that they were meant to move before today,” said Mafumbatha.

Ward councillor Godman Dlamini said he would visit the area to see if anyone needed temporary accommodation. “I am considering accommodating them at the local community hall,” said Dlamini.

Among the people whose homes were demolished was Bonginkosi Msinyana who had just started building a corrugated iron house for his family next to his shack.

“I have a three-week-old baby and another two-year-old child. I don’t work and we receive no grants from the government. “Where are my children going to sleep?” he asked.

Another resident, who refused to be named, said she has lived in the area since 2013 and had received a letter from the municipality allowing her to reside on the land.

She claimed her elderly neighbour, whose home was also demolished, had to be rushed to a hospital after watching her house being bulldozed.

Many residents told The Witness that Dlamini had called a meeting on Friday evening where he informed them that the municipality was planning to demolish the illegal houses in the area.

Dlamini said he was aware of the demolitions and had given the residents ample time to find alternative accommodation.

He said the land belonged to Msunduzi Municipality and there were plans in place to build low-cost houses. Dlamini said there was already a list of people who would benefit from the housing project. “The municipality wanted to demolish the houses on Friday but I asked for an extension to warn them for the last time but they didn’t listen,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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