Residents threaten to destroy new road

1 day 4 hours ago
People who had homes demolished for road construction in 2013 have still not been compensated

By Nokulunga Majola

Photo of a wide road T-junction
Residents of Amaoti say they will destroy Angola Road if they are not compensated for the demolition of their homes in 2013. Photo: Nokulunga Majola

Residents of Amaoti, north of Durban, are threatening to destroy a new road if they are not compensated for being relocated. About 35 people had their homes, some of them with up to six rooms, demolished to make way for Angola Road in 2013.

Some of the people were relocated to RDP homes; others are now living in shacks. They were supposed to be compensated according to the value of their houses, but five years later nothing has happened.

The roadworks have also stopped as more demolitions will be necessary. Ward councillor Bongani Qantsi said, “Once we have established how many more people will be affected we will then work out how they will be compensated, together with the first people whose houses were destroyed in 2013. This issue is being handled.”

But resident Sibekezele Mthembu said, “How long should we wait for what belongs to us? [eThekwini Mayor Zandile] Gumede came to us and told us that a new road will be built in the area. She said, for that to happen our homes would have to be destroyed, but we will be compensated so that we can rebuild somewhere else.”

“These are our homes that we are talking about. Why is it taking them so long to pay us what is due?” asked Mthembu. “I don’t know how many meetings we have attended over the years, but nothing concrete has come of it.”

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Land occupiers in Mthatha won’t move until they get houses

1 day 4 hours ago
Municipality says the vacant land is earmarked for a “major development”

By Kwanele Mketeni

Photo of a house under construction
Brick mud houses are being built in a land occupation at KwaMpuku in Mthatha. Photo: Kwanele Mketeni

About a thousand residents of KwaMpuku in Mthatha are battling over land with King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality. In August 2017, the municipality demolished their homes saying they were illegally on the land. But residents are rebuilding and demanding that the municipality first make proper housing arrangements for them before they are evicted.

Sibusiso Jekemani, his wife, 17-year-old child and a baby, had their home demolished by the municipality on 17 August 2017.

“Only my wife and our last born were home on the day,” said Jekemani, tearing up as he recalled the demolition. “Our last child was only a month old when our home was destroyed with everything in it. The machines I used to cut grass were also destroyed in the demolition and that was the only source of income in our home. It took me months to bounce back.”

But on Saturday, Jekemani was back on the land, building a new home with the help of three friends. “The municipality must acknowledge we’re also entitled to dignity. If they want this land so bad, they must build our homes elsewhere. We refuse to go anywhere if that has not been done.”

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