MSUNDUZI Municipality has made it clear that it will not transfer Manor flats ownership to tenants, it will not reconnect electricity for those residents who have not paid their bills and have not made payment arrangements, and those who have not signed the new lease.
This was revealed at the media briefing that was held at the City Hall last Thursday following a protest demonstrated by Manor residents.
Residents demanded that the municipality reconnect their electricity that was disconnected due to the lack of payment and that the municipality gives them title deeds to their flats.
Phumlani Gumede,who is acting senior manager of Human Settlements within the municipality, said residents are aware of the fact that ownership of flats will never be transferred to them.
“Tenants came to City Hall a couple of times and they were briefed that rental stock will not be transferred to them. It is just a perception that people have, that if they have stayed in a place for long enough, the ownership should be transferred to them,” he said.
Regarding the money that is owed to the municipality by the tenants, Gumede said they have tried by all means to assist tenants by telling them to come forward and make arrangements as to how they are going to settle bills,however, they [tenants] failed to comply.
“We are not saying that they must pay all debt at once ... We had several meetings with them [tenants] calculating the resolution, but they refused to comply with the municipality, demanding that the flats be transferred to them. It was clear from the beginning that those flats were rental stock and they will remain so.”
He said since the protest started there are some tenants who have come forward to make payment arrangements and also signed their leases. Electricity at these tenants’ homes has since been reconnected.
Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo said they want this problem to be resolved. “We are not being harsh to our people, it is them who do not want to comply with us. We want them to come to us and negotiate about their debt,” he said.
The protest has since died down but some of the residents still do not have electricity.