A group of people who illegally invaded a housing development on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast were evicted on Wednesday.
In a statement, the eThekwini Municipality said the newly-built Emona Sunhill Housing project in Tongaat, meant to be occupied by disabled persons and the elderly, were hijacked by illegal invaders.
“The legitimate beneficiaries of the housing development include the elderly and the disabled, most of whom should have already been living in the completed homes, but could not due to the selfish actions of the invaders,” said City spokesperson Gugu Sisilana.
The housing project, located in Ward 6, was meant to benefit hundreds of beneficiaries from the Staram, Firehouse, Kwabhontsisi and Enqabeni informal settlements.
“The invaders forced the City’s hand when they not only stopped the handover of the houses to their rightful owners but intimidated and threatened City Human Settlements officials and the beneficiaries with guns during a second attempted handover.
“Through the decisive action of the City’s leadership, the matter was presented before the courts where an order to evict the illegal occupants was granted.”
Sisilana said in addition the City has directed law enforcement agencies and Metro Police to act swiftly to protect the assets of the City and citizens, as well as prevent any further incidents of illegality.
“The City will not succumb to intimidation antics in its quest to provide decent housing and eradicate poverty for its residents.
“This is one of our largest housing developments, set to house over 1,000 beneficiaries on 250 sites.
“To date the first phase of the project has been completed, 242 units have been completed and 233 have already been handed over to the rightful beneficiaries,” said Sisilana.
The City said it was committed to restoring the dignity of residents by giving them shelter as envisaged in the Constitution.