Anger over Umzimkulu shack demolitions

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Copy of CA_p11 Shack fire Victims DONE.JPG INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Shack dwellers rifle through demoished shacks to try and salvage some possessions. File photo by Ryan Jacobs

Durban - Opposition parties accused the Umzimkulu municipality on Thursday of being heavy-handed by demolishing the homes of squatters without warning.

Economic Freedom Fighters convener Linda Mbhele said 11 homes were destroyed by the municipality in the Sisulu area of Ward 16 on Monday.

“When the people came back from work on Monday they found their homes flattened. Their important documents like IDs were there. Now they have nothing,” he said.

He estimated about 100 people were affected.

Francois Rodgers of the Democratic Alliance said the municipality was not following formal procedures when clearing informal settlements.

He urged human settlements MEC Ravi Pillay to declare the area a disaster and help the 25 families he believed had been affected by the demolition. He said they had been living there since 2012.

Umzimkulu mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga denied the municipality acted incorrectly.

He said the province's human settlements department was building houses in the area and that residents needed to make way.

“We will move them to another area. We are checking whether they were on the list to receive houses,” he said.

He said his information was that only eight families had been affected.


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