Home invaders run amok in Cornubia

Published Feb 3, 2016


Durban - Security officers have told how home invaders used “Jet Li-style” flying kicks to break down the doors to homes they wanted to illegally occupy at the Cornubia housing project.

This past week two housing projects on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast have been targeted for invasions. In both incidents, police and security officers promptly removed the illegal occupants.

In Cornubia, security guards at the site said they had had to scramble to safety after 300 people arrived in buses and cars to take incomplete homes by force on Saturday morning.

One of the guards said the invaders – men and women – ran in all directions.

Because the doors to the houses under construction were locked, the invaders kicked them in, splintering wooden panels.

This has caused a setback for contractors who must now replace and repair doors and door frames.

The invaders wrote their names and the word “Taken” in mud, paint and chalk on the walls, doors and window panes.

Two graffiti sentences stood out… “Show me a democracy” and “We are one if united we stand”.

On Tuesday, contractors were still busy finishing the interior and landscaping outside the homes. Tactical Security was also on site monitoring the area to prevent further invasions.

eThekwini Municipality spokeswoman, Tozi Mthethwa, said the city had taken a tough stance and would not stand for the invasion of housing projects in and around Durban.

“They arrived in buses and taxis to move in their furniture and vandalised the units in the process. City officials addressed them on site as they were raising concerns regarding the allocation process,” she said.

Security has been beefed up to ensure visibility and secure the Cornubia precinct. Council said it had a zero tolerance approach to such invasions and was committed to putting an end to the practice.

“There are 586 families living in Cornubia which is KwaZulu-Natal’s largest mixed-use and mixed income integrated human settlement. This project will provide 15 000 housing units for indigent beneficiaries,” Mthethwa said.

KwaDukuza Municipality spokesman, Sifiso Zulu, said they were discussing several major issues and addressing some of the concerns to speed up delivery of the Groutville Priority 2 housing project.

This comes after a protracted protest that resulted in damages there amounting to at least R4.8 million.

Two weeks ago, the N2 and the R102 near Groutville were barricaded and blocked.

Site offices owned by the contractor, Zikhulise Cleaning and Maintenance in Groutville, in the eThembeni area, were also vandalised by a group of disgruntled protesters who were chiefly demanding employment by the contractor and the re-allocation of houses to legal beneficiaries.

The homes have not yet been completed because of delays in the roll-out of ablution facilities.

“We are calling on the community of eThembeni to give peace a chance,” Zulu said.

“We are fully aware of their worries and past disappointments, which have driven them to take up protest action,” Zulu said.

In 2012, KwaDukuza Municipality awarded a contract, after competitive bidding, to Zikhulise Cleaning and Maintenance services to construct roads and related civil works, 1 980 houses and ventilated improved pit toilets. One thousand houses have been constructed.

Daily News

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