Plans to clamp down on 'shacklords'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Shacklords, who have started a new form of business venture described as "'shack farming" in KwaZulu-Natal, have been given an ultimatum to stop it before March or face the music.

This was said by KwaZuluNatal MEC for housing, local government and traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu on Saturday.

Speaking to hundreds of residents from Slovas, an informal settlement in KwaMbonambi, northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mabuyakhulu said that he had intensified efforts to eradicate slums by 2010 and to keep them from re-emerging.

He said his department was piloting legislation that would give municipalities more power to deal with the scourge of land invasion and to stop the proliferation of slums.

The proposed Eradication and the Prevention of the Re-emergence of Slums Act, he said, would also allow the government to get tough with people who turned the suffering of people in squatter camps into a money-making racket.

"These unscrupulous 'shacklords' practise 'shack farming', which means that they own informal settlements and charge people, who are desperate for a place to live, exorbitant rents for accommodation," he said.