Defector to DA ‘flouted by-laws’

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FORMER ANC councillor Mergan Chetty, who defec­ted to the Democratic Alliance, has come under the spotlight for not abiding by council by-laws regarding the driveway to his house.

Chetty was apparently not permitted to construct a driveway to Chota Motala Road, but allegedly did so in violation of a specific instruction from the municipal roads department.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said that according to the documents in council’s possession, Chetty’s house plan was approved by the municipal roads department on condition that “No dual access to Chota Motala Road may be permitted”.

The plan was approved showing access from Darjeeling Drive.

Zuma said access to Chota Motala Road from the property would constitute a violation of the conditions of the approval of the building plan, and the town planning department will investigate.

Chetty disputes that he has done anything wrong, saying there is no such driveway constructed and that he has access to his property via his neighbour’s driveway. He claims to be the subject of a witch-hunt.

He said his building operations were completed some eight years ago, long before he became a councillor in 2006.

“The so-called access to Old Greytown [Chota Motala] Road is in fact via a neighbour’s driveway, which existed before the conversions were undertaken.”

Chetty said there was an on-site meeting where the difficulty of access from Darjeeling Drive was discussed as his property is below road level.

“At this meeting I informed the officials of the access that other properties already had along Old Greytown Road,” he said.

“If a planning violation has in fact taken place, it is the responsibility of the council officials to write and inform me. During the last eight years, since the building was completed, no such letter has been received. I will gladly address any issues the relevant officials have to raise with me to resolve this matter.”

A DA member who is a town planner said enforcing the instruction of no direct access to and from Chota Motala Road would affect several other properties and could lead to property owners having to spend thousands to re-route access to their properties. The instruction is to do with road safety and hampering the flow of traffic.

Chetty said there have since been other developments on Chota Motala that have been given road access, notably the Sasol Garage and Moosa’s Wholesalers.

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