The MEC for Human Settlements in KwaZulu-Natal has intervened in a housing crisis matter in Wentworth after scores of people invaded temporary housing units.
MEC Sipho Nkosi visited the area on Monday where he spelled out a four-pronged plan to address the housing crisis.
Last week, at least 30 families invaded the refurbished units erected by the department while repairs to existing flats were underway. According to residents, work at the existing units ground to a halt in December.
A resident who spoke to IOL said the flats had been left unattended for months, and local drug addicts had gained entry and started vandalising the units.
MEC Nkosi said that despite the threats made at Monday's meeting, he was confident that it was fruitful and constructive.
Nkosi said the agreement with residents is that work will continue on the 1136 flats in Wentworth.
"Construction work will continue next month. We are aware of the invaders at the temporary shelters and have asked the leadership in the community to assist in removing them. If they do not move, we will bring in state resources," Nkosi said.
He added that residents have raised the issue of overcrowding in Wentworth.
"There are an additional 201 flats to relieve this issue," Nkosi said, adding that while this may not address the immediate issues, residents are advised to go where houses are to be built.
Nkosi said the issue of overcrowding in Wentworth is a historical matter.
"The area is short of land. There has been no building of housing since the 1950s. This is the challenge. All communities are complaining about the same thing, even in Newlands East," Nkosi said.