23 AUGUST 2017
Provincial and City Leadership Address Land Invasion Unrest
A PROVINCIAL and City leadership has visited Mariannridge to address housing delivery issues and land invasion threats following days of unrest in Ward 13.
Today, 23 August, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Ravi Pillay and eThekwini Municipality’s Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Councillor Mondli Mthembu met with community leaders at the Mariannridge Police Station.
MEC Pillay announced that a housing development is in the pipeline with the construction camp to be set up on Monday, 28 August for construction to take place no later than 14 September 2017.
"The contractor will be on site as of next week Monday. I can assure you that work has been done, a contractor has been appointed and a contract has been signed. The contractor is ready to hit the ground running," he said.
The housing project will be done in two phases with the construction of 350 units in Phase 1 on immediate available land and 150 units in Phase 2 to be built at a later stage due to scarce vacant land. Once the project is complete, it will accommodate 500 families in the area.
MEC Pillay said the unrest was triggered by land invasion that took place in the area by people who are not from the Ward. This sparked anger among residents from the Ward who then retaliated in protest action.
The rampant land invasion comes after Abahlali Basemjondolo’s interim court interdict against eThekwini Municipality which prevents further demolitions of illegal dwellings of 241 listed applicants provided that they be verified.
While the City has been prevented, through the interim court interdict, from demolishing structures of the verified applicants in the matter, the Land Invasion Unit is still operating as per normal and is responding to cases of reported land invasion in the City.
Councillor Mthembu said the Municipality will not tolerate abuse of the interim court interdict by opportunistic people who are hell-bent on invading land.
“As a City, we condemn any acts of land invasion because there are development and regeneration plans in the pipeline in eThekwini, which will improve the lives of all residents,” he said.
When the issues were resolved, it was agreed that before construction of the housing project, a steering committee has to be established and there must be clear communication channels to keep residents informed regularly on the developments of the project.
Ward Councillor Reginald Cloete and community leaders agreed to convene a meeting this evening with residents to give feedback on the meeting with the leadership and inform them on the housing development.
Meanwhile, the City leadership has met with the Bonella community following unrest resulting in land invasion by people who are believed to be from other Wards.
Councillor Mthembu added that he met with the local leadership from Bonella.
“Talks to ensure that the matter is completely resolved are underway. Police will continue to ensure that law and order is maintained in the area,” he said.
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: