Durban — Residents of Phoenix in Centenary Park are concerned about a collapsing retaining wall that poses great danger to passing pedestrians and vulnerable schoolchildren.
The Centenary Park Residents’ Association said the pavement was seriously obstructed “due to construction on property allocated according to controversial means”.
“This developmental corruption and careless disregard for the community’s safety needs to be exposed as pedestrians and schoolchildren are in severe danger. This is also causing traffic issues as the road is obstructed on both sides, especially when big vehicles pass,” read the statement.
The association further revealed that the reason for the danger was a resident believed to be a family member of Ronnies Houses Alliance, who has built to the road’s edge and fenced off public property for business purposes. It alleged that they (the developer) had built another family home at 37 Parkmead.
“They have taken over properties for family ownership and fenced off land meant for public access to park their bus building shop and tow trucks. There must be fines and accountability for this kind of behaviour, and even demolishment. Let’s say no to this kind of corruption,” the residents said.
They added that the situation was getting worse as there was no space for pedestrians to transit, the wall was falling over and the sand was regularly rolling on to and blocking the street.
“At the building inspectorate, the building inspector is turning a blind eye.
“We are informed that they will act according to the National Building Regulation, by which time people could be hurt. Vacant land is supposed to be developed and provided to alleviate the housing shortage, not to enrich the rich and unscrupulous,” they said.
The residents noted at least two incidents in which children were almost knocked down by cars when they were forced to walk on the road because of the obstruction.
Another resident, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said: “We require urgent action from the government. They are putting the community at high risk and misappropriating state land for personal gain. We request that the ethics department of the SA Institution of Civil Engineering should intervene.”
When contacted for comment last week, councillor Amir Abdul promised to take a drive and see what the residents were complaining about. However, he was unreachable on Tuesday when we followed up with him.
Mervyn Reddy, linked to housing development in the area, said he managed to meet up with the aforementioned developer and, according to him, everything was in order.
“He assured me that everything was going according to the approved plans. And about the obstructions on the road, as a developer myself, I know that is the case for every developer. Once the development is at its final stage then we get rid of the rubble, clear out all the obstructions. Even the municipality does that when they are digging out pipes,” said Reddy.
He said the residents should be patient because all that obstruction was temporary.
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