DA KZN: uMzimkhulu residents out in the cold as municipality destroys homes

Francois Rodgers, MPL

DA Sisonke Constituency Leader

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal calls on KZN Human Settlement MEC, Ravi Pillay to immediately launch disaster management procedures within the Sisulu informal settlement in uMzimkhulu.  This after the ANC-led municipality destroyed the homes of some 25 families living the area without any prior notice earlier this week.

Residents have being living in the area since the beginning of 2012.  They claim that at the time the municipality promised to build houses for them on the occupied site.

It is unacceptable that the proper conviction procedures were not followed by this municipality.  Apart from no notice being given, there is no alternate or temporary accommodation arranged for residents, many of whom are elderly.  Furthermore on inspection it was clear that some of the homes were destroyed with all personal belongings inside the home. This heartless behaviour is unacceptable.

I visited the affected community. One resident, a woman well into her 80’s had her home destroyed with her chronic medication and prescriptions still inside. This inhumane action was taken during a particularly cold spell in the area. The temperature at 10 am on the morning of inspection was a mere 5 degrees.

It has also come to our attention that municipal officials have threatened those affected that, should they open a case against the municipality or speak to the press, they will in future not receive any benefits from the municipality.

It appears that once the ANC have received votes from residents they simply take the law into their own hands.

The DA will assist community members to open civil claims against the uMzimkhulu Municipality for loss of property and the destruction of property.  We will also pursue the matter with the Human Rights Commission and the Constitutional Court as this is a direct infringement on the constitutional right of the residents.

The manner in which this community has been treated is appalling.  We expect the MEC to act swiftly and ensure that suitable temporary accommodation is found for them until a permanent solution can be found.