MEC’s about-turn leaves Phoenix tenants out in the cold

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal calls on KZN Human Settlements MEC, Ravi Pillay, to urgently release funding to enable Phoenix tenants in rental accommodation to buy their own homes, in line with an earlier promise by the developer Woodglaze Trading (PTY) Ltd’s that the units would be “rent to buy”.

The call comes after a clandestine meeting between the MEC, Woodglaze Trading’s Jay Singh – the current landlord of the different developments – and Ethekwini’s First Metro Housing, an institution funded by the department to deliver affordable housing.

During the meeting the MEC is believed to have attached a clause, converting the units to social housing. This was done without any consultation with tenants. The decision affects some 1 200 flats built by Woodglaze after Ethekwini municipality made land available for the provision of rental accommodation for tenants who did not qualify for bank loans. The units include Tasneeva Gardens in Stanmore, Tashmia Gardens in Treehaven, Tashmera Gardens in Eastbury and Tasvir Gardens in Rydavale.

The MEC has a duty to ensure that monies are released in order to allow tenants access to subsidies so that they can finally purchase the units they live in. The DA calls on him to engage in consultation with tenants and to fast-track this process. A detailed inspection of the condition of the flats is also required. These tenants are desperate to own their own homes.

The goal posts must not be shifted.

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