Shack dwellers vow to invade low-cost houses

SHACK dwellers at Lamontville have vowed to continue invading low-co st houses at Chris Hani informal settlement .

SHACK dwellers at Lamontville have vowed to continue invading low-co st houses at Chris Hani informal settlement .

Police were yesterday called in to calm the situation between the shack dwellers and the development committee led by councillor Nolubabalo Mthembu.

Residents complained that their shacks were demolished to make way for the new houses that were promised to them.

They were instead given temporary corrugated homes on an adjacent lot and their names were omitted in the allocation list.

Residents invaded 20 low-cost houses on Tuesday night after accusing Mthembu of allegedly allocating houses to her friends.

Resident Bongi Gasa said they had been living in shacks since 2007.

"Our names were sidelined when the lists were compiled for the new houses. Only 60 names were on the list and there are 114 new homes," said Gasa.

The invaders accused Mthembu of using strong-armed tactics.

"She called in a group of local men who assaulted us in front of the police. We will not give up," Gasa said.

"We have no electricity, no running water and can't take it anymore."

Local Sanco organiser Fikile Luthuli said conditions the "invaders" lived in were not fit for human beings.

She said Sanco had tried to engage Mthembu and eThekwini head of housing Nigel Gumede but without any success.

Mthembu would not attend to journalists when they arrived at her office.

Her team indicated that she was busy in meetings. Gumede was also said to be tied up in meetings.

Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said police were called to calm the situation after people forcefully occupied vacant homes. "The situation is under control. Police were able to calm the situation and those who had occupied houses have gone back to where they lived," he said.

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