An audit conducted on uMngeni Municipality’s flats revealed illegal occupants and that some units had been vandalised.
An update on the flats was tabled at a virtual executive committee meeting recently.
The mayor, Chris Pappas, said the audit will examine two processes, including identifying the most sustainable and financially viable use of the assets as well as an audit of what was currently happening at the flats.
He added they were requesting a breakdown of expenditure on the flats.
“This will include how much we are spending on water, what income we are getting for rental and other things.
“The next step will then be to understand the cost implications that these buildings are costing us every month and every financial year,” said Pappas.
The two blocks of flats, Allemans and Grey’s Court consist of 40 units.
The report stated the current status of these residential units was substandard as they are decaying due to minimal maintenance and vandalism.
In Grey’s Court, five units had illegal occupants. One unit is allegedly occupied by a security guard but he or she never presented him- or herself to the municipality.
Other illegal occupants were paying rent to previous occupants while some didn’t reveal who they were.
ALSO READ | uMngeni budget focuses on fixing roads
The municipality also cannot gain access to one of the flats since the family who stayed there vacated it without handing over the keys.
The report said some of the items belonging to this family were still inside the flat. Other challenges faced by the municipality are that illegal occupants do not have legal lease agreements with the municipality and do not pay rent or basic services.
It was further recommended that legal action should be taken against illegal occupants and that no legalisation should happen for people who occupy the flats without prior approval.
One of the legal occupants who asked not to be named said the flats were in a bad condition. He said the municipality was not taking care of the flats.
“At times we have to fix things ourselves or let them be, because the municipality is never available to fix our problems at the flats as our landlords.
“We also report illegal occupants but they don’t seem to care,” he said.