Shack dwellers in the area of Bonela damaged water meters and set alight two Micro-busses on Buckingham Road during a protest on Friday.   
Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)
Shack dwellers in the area of Bonela damaged water meters and set alight two Micro-busses on Buckingham Road during a protest on Friday. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)
Residents try to stop the flow of water after shack dwellers damaged water meters during a protest in Bonela, Cato Manor. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)
Residents try to stop the flow of water after shack dwellers damaged water meters during a protest in Bonela, Cato Manor. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - A Bonela resident spoke of his heartache after seeing his family Caravelle microbus go up in flames during a protest by shackdwellers in Cato Manor on Friday.

Land invaders have threatened to cause chaos if the eThekwini Land Invasion Units (LIU) demolished their shacks. 

This bold threat came with a physical warning, as early as 2 am on Friday, when about two hundred people allegedly from the newly built eKanini Informal settlement marched through Blinkbonnie, Buckingham and Carnforth Roads rolling and carrying tyres which they then set alight at various intersections. 

Several homes were also stoned and damaged along Carlow Road. 

The threats and intimidation against residents in the multi-cultural suburb came after some shacks were demolished by the LIU on Thursday.

Mthoko Shinta said he was devastated and seething with anger after his Caravelle microbus was set alight by the mob. His neighbour's vehicle, a microbus was also set alight.  Shinta said words cannot express his disatisfaction with the incident. 

“My vehicle was parked outside the gate as usual when at about 2 am a mob passed by from the nearby informal settlement. They came and took out their anger on us. I could not salvage anything from the vehicle. It has set me back more than R50000. We don't have a problem with anyone. We are also poor like. The municipality put them there but we have to be punished. If they can burn your car today tomorrow they can kill you,” Shinta said.

The settlement spreads on a greenbelt from Carlow/Wiggins Road to the top of Blinkbonnie Road and behind the back walls of 38 homes in Carnforth Avenue and more than a dozen between a greenbelt on Buckingham and Carlow Roads. The settlement increased from 35 shacks to more than 400.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that the protest was about the demolishing of shacks and that water meters were damaged and two vehicles were set alight. He said Public Order Policing units are monitoring the situation. 

Most of the residents who spoke to the Daily News anonymously said they were awoken by loud bangs and people screaming just after 2 am. The mob had used hammers to smash roadside water meters. Residents trees and some water meters were also cut down by a man using a chainsaw.  

Residents had to find a way to close the burst pipes after millions of litres of water sprouted into the air and flooded roads.

Residents fear the area will decline rapidly as did Kenville, Clare Estate and Burnwood Road. 

Evidence of this one lane on Blinkbonnie Road that is covered with sand and rubble from the settlement since April.

The city is also facing an uphill battle with land invaders Mary Thipe (Cato Manor) Road. Yesterday a newly built informal settlement in Garcin Place on the Bluff was demolished. 

Daily News