Windermere residents up in arms over 'health risk’ vacant plot
Durban – WINDERMERE residents have appealed to the eThekwini Municipality to attend to a vacant plot on Henwood Road, which they feel has contributed to the deterioration in the area.
According to business owner Abbey Naidoo, not only is the plot polluted with rubbish that poses health concerns, but vagrants congregate on the property.
Some have children with them who beg on nearby roads.
Naidoo also attributed crime in the area to the influx of the homeless.
According to statistics from private security company Blue Security, seven burglaries and two attempted burglaries have been reported since July.
Residents had hoped the issue with vagrancy was resolved when the structure on the plot that was used for shelter was demolished last year, but the issue continued.
Naidoo said the issue had been reported to the municipality – to no avail. “We feel that the municipality is deaf to our concerns. Our offices are in front of the plot and have been burgled twice in the past 10 days. Neighbours’ houses or businesses have also been burgled and items stolen.
“The municipality needs to enforce the by-laws to prevent rubbish build-up and deal with vagrancy in the area.”
Ward councillor Ernest Smith said: “The situation arises from socio-economic issues and the lack of employment, forcing people to ‘hustle’,thus creating a culture of begging. It is especially of concern that children are socialised into this lifestyle and are used to get money from people who feel sorry for them.”
Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the plot was private property. “Therefore the onus lies with the property owner to protect their property or surrender it to council should they find it difficult to maintain and protect it.”