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Provincial and City leadership address land invasion unrest
(From left to right) Ward 13 Councillor Reginald Cloete, eThekwini’s
Human Settlements and 
Infrastructure Committee Chairperson
Councillor 
Mondli Mthembu and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human
Settlements and Public Works Ravi Pillay 
addressed residents of
Mariannridge on issues 
facing the community following land
invasion 
unrest.
​​A PROVINCIAL and City leadership has visited Mariannridge to address housing delivery issues and land invasion threats following days of unrest in Ward 13.

On 23 August, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Ravi Pillay and 
eThekwini Municipality’s Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Councillor Mondli Mthembu met with community leaders at the Mariannridge Police Station. 

MEC Pillay announced that a housing development is in the pipeline with the construction camp to be set up on 28 August for construction to take place no later than 14 September 2017. “The housing project will be done in two phases with the construction of 350 units in Phase 1 on immediately available land and 150 units in Phase 2 to be built at a later stage due to scarce vacant land. Once the project is complete, it will accommodate 500 families in the area,” he explained.

The unrest was triggered by land invasion that took place in the area of people who are not from the Ward. This sparked anger among residents from the Ward who then retaliated in protest action. The rampant land invasion comes after Abahlali base Mjondolo’s interim court interdict against eThekwini Municipality which prevents further demolitions of illegal dwellings of 241 listed applicants provided that they are verified. 

While the City has been prevented, through the interim court interdict, from demolishing structures of the verified applicants in the matter, the Land Invasion Unit is still operating as per normal and is responding to cases of reported land invasion in the City. Councillor Mthembu said the Municipality will not tolerate abuse of the interim court interdict by opportunistic people who are hell-bent on invading land. “As a City, we condemn any acts of land invasion because there are developments and regeneration plans in the pipeline in eThekwini, which will improve the lives of all residents,” he said.
It was agreed that a steering committee must be established along with clear communication channels to keep residents informed regularly on the developments of the project. 

Meanwhile, the City leadership has met with the Bonella community following unrest resulting in land invasion by people who are believed to be from other wards. Councillor Mthembu added that he met with the local leadership from Bonella. “Talks to ensure that the matter is completely resolved are underway. Police will continue to ensure that law and order is maintained in the area,” he said. 

The public is urged to respect the City’s by-laws and the laws of the country. Government is aware of the challenges regarding houses and is working hard to address this.
WEATHER

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