DURBAN - Sydenham residents who have been battling a spate of land invasions in their area have started an online petition calling for the eThekwini mayor and municipal manager to take legal action against the invaders.

Sherwood Community Policing Forum (CPF) vice-chairperson, Satish Dhupelia, said residents in the area were trying to deal with a land invasion on land between Locksley Drive and Loon Road.

He said residents had been hearing trees being cut and bushes cleared in the early hours of the morning recently. Dhupelia said they contacted the city’s Land Invasion Unit and metro police to intervene.

It is believed more than 100 shack dwellers, desperate for homes, are looking to move into the area.

Previously, Dhupelia said those who were marking the area told them they were tired of waiting for the government to provide proper houses for them and were being forced to find new land for shacks.

Now, the Sherwood CPF is facilitating an online petition that has since gained traction.

The petition calls for mayor Zandile Gumede and city manager Sipho Nzuza to apply to the high court for a court order to declare occupation of the vacant land in Locksley Drive and Loon Road as unlawful; authorise the eviction of all present and future occupants of the land; and investigate whether the land can and should be available for formal housing.

If the land is suitable for formal housing, the petition calls for the municipal officials to provide the necessary services to that land and develop the land for formal housing.

Ward councillor Chris Pappas said the vacant land was a D’Moss zone and hence no construction was allowed there.

- THE MERCURY