His Worship the Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo will on Saturday, 16/03/2013, meet with residents of Cato Crest following attempts to forcefully invade land in the area.
This week a group of people, most of them tenants at nearby informal settlements, had running battles with police and the Municipality’s Land Invasion Unit after they attempted to build shacks on Municipal and private land. A house belonging to a local Councillor was damaged by the group carrying dangerous weapons. They were demanding to be allocated houses in a local housing project.
Mayor Nxumalo said his Office had intervened in an attempt to bring order to the area.
“I have set up a task team comprising of affected Ward Councillors from Wards 101 and 30 and officials from my Office to engage with the protesters. We have arranged a meeting on Saturday and I will go there to address the community,” he said. He said the main challenge in the area was caused by shack lords who rented out their dwellings to other people. “When we upgrade the area we build houses for people who are registered on our data base and those who are tenants get left behind. These are the people who are now also demanding houses. We ask them to be patient because some of them will be allocated in different housing projects together with other people from the Municipality's 103 Wards.”
Mayor Nxumalo condemned the carrying of dangerous weapons during protests. “We recognise the constitutional right of people to protest. But it is not acceptable for anyone to use violence and to carry dangerous weapons when they protest.
“We would also like to urge people to be patient and not to invade land and houses that are already allocated to beneficiaries. In eThekwini we have a backlog of about 410 000 people in need of houses and it will take time for us to meet that target. We cannot allow the emergence of new informal settlements because we want to eradicate slums.”
Mayor Nxumalo said the Municipality was doing everything it could to fast track housing delivery, including the new alternative housing technology project which is expected to be launched next month.
The meeting will take place at 09h00 at the Cato Crest Sports Grounds on Saturday.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson, Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 082 731 7456 or e-mail Thabo1.Mofokeng@durban.gov.za