KZN rejects critical report from Geneva

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Michael Mabuyakhulu, local government, housing and traditional affairs MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, has rejected a report by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

The report by the NGO is critical of housing delivery in the eThekwini municipality.

The organisation criticises the municipality for building houses far from town. It says the distance makes it very expensive for people to travel to work, schools and hospitals.

The centre is also concerned about the size and quality of the houses and the poor basic services to shack dwellers who are waiting for houses.

The centre's executive director, Salih Booker, says they are concerned about "state repression" of informal dwellers.

"Evictions are a routine occurrence in Durban and our researchers did not come across a single instance in which an eviction had been carried out in accordance with the law," he says

But Mabuyakhulu says the report is the viewpoint of an NGO that has discussed the matter with people who are critical of the municipality's housing delivery programme, primarily Abahlali Basemjondolo.

"The report is onesided," Mabuyakhulu says. "It does not recognise that eThekwini does not have suitable land closer to the areas of economic activities."