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Council lashed for 'bulldozing' houses

By unknown | Oct 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Homeless People's Federation, an NGO in Lamontville outside Durban, yesterday lashed out at the eThekwini municipality for demolishing homes it had helped locals to build.

The homes were flattened to the ground to make way for the municipality's housing projects.

The NGO claimed this was in contravention of an agreement it had signed with the provincial and the national departments.

It says the homes built by the locals were superior to those planned by the municipality. Shacks were also bulldozed.

Spokesman for the federation Thembinkosi Njilo said the agreement was reached after the first phase of demolishing by eThekwini municipality on Friday, where more than 50 houses and shacks were destroyed. He said they were not against development, but against the manner in which it was being conducted.

His organisation had built better houses for their members but was shocked when local councillor Nolubabalo Mthembu told residents that everyone would be temporarily moved and housed at another area while the municipality developed the area.

"The federation has been helping people for years to build better homes. We were shocked to see the homes demolished.

"We were told about the move to demolish the homes at a meeting shortly before the demolition began. Why not build homes for the needy people out there and leave our members alone.

"Our members are angry because their homes were of a better quality and were just destroyed," Njilo said.

He said after the houses were demolished last Friday, they held a meeting on Sunday with all the housing stakeholders, including representatives from the provincial and national housing departments, and it was agreed that the demolition should stop.

"But we were surprised when the municipality sent their people and trucks despite the agreement prohibiting them from doing so," he said.

The municipality representatives were in meetings late yesterday and could not be reached for comment.


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