“If land invasions in Napierville are allowed to continue, we will stop paying for rates and services.”
That’s the stern warning to the Msunduzi Municipality from Napierville residents who believe the value of their homes could be threatened by the illegal invasion of land in the area.
The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the committee, which represents ratepayers in the area recently.
“The municipality must deal with those people first,” said a resident who has asked to not be named.
The man, who lives four houses away from the invaded land, said this had left ratepayers worried about the impact the invasion would have on the value of their homes. “One of the people who have invaded the land has a smallholding there and he has water and electricity, but he is not paying for any of it.
“That is what is angering the residents because he is enjoying all the benefits without paying for anything. Why must the ratepayers pay when the municipality knows about this, but they are not acting?” said the resident.
He said the meeting had been attended by at least 30 ratepayers. He added that a letter had been submitted with the ratepayer’s association and that they were expecting feedback by Friday.
When The Witness visited the area it discovered that some of the plots where building had started were left with incomplete structures.
None of the people in the area were willing to speak to the newspaper and referred the reporter to the “committee” and the Induna in the area.
The land is earmarked for low-cost housing.
Another resident, who has lived across the road from the invaded area since 2008, said the invasion had resulted in families feeling unsafe in their homes. He asked not to be named.
“We feel that the area is no longer safe to live in. These people are dangerous,” said the man.
He said as ratepayers they were fed up with the land invasion.
“We can’t just have people move into the area by buying these sites for R3 000. We are also improving our homes, and this is devaluing our houses,” he said.
Ward councillor Ross Strachan said it was time people were arrested for the illegal activity.
“The land invasions are continuing unabated; they seem to be carrying on irrespective and I don’t believe the sale of the land has stopped.
“In terms of the court order, whoever is on site should have been arrested,” said Strachan.
Meanwhile, Msunduzi Municipality’s public safety division has impounded at least two TLBs and a state car.
Senior manager for public safety Kwenza Khumalo revealed this on Wednesday.
Khumalo said they, however, could not control the land invasion situation in the Napierville and Prestbury area.
“People are still selling land, but we cannot control the behind-the-scenes activities. We are more concerned about the people who are building and delivering material there,” said Khumalo.
He said they had noticed a decline in the number of people who were building there.
This could be attributed to more people hearing that the land belonged to the municipality and not the alleged “induna”, he said.
“… We suspect that people have heard that there is something untoward happening there.”
Previously, Khumalo said they were aware that a syndicate was running the illegal sale of land in Msunduzi. He said the matter was being investigated at the Prestbury police station.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese failed to comment.