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Monday Feb 03, 2014

Pinetown residents battling to keep businesses out

Illegal land usage continues to preoccupy City Watch readers. This week the City Watch team received a complaint from the Manors Neighbourhood Watch in Pinetown.

About 15 residents complained about residential homes that have been turned into businesses.

The residents have complained several times to the city and have now turned to City Watch for help.

One complainant wanted to remain anonymous, fearing a backlash from neighbours who run the illegal businesses.

'I have been to meetings with Pinetown Town Planning and our councillors over four years. Our plight has been elevated to eThekwini Town Planning head office in Durban where we have met Lekha Allopi, Steve Moses, George Mzimela and Vivegi Chetty,' said the complainant.

'I have e-mailed all the office bearers, including Abdul Domingo, four times appealing for a progress report. To date I still await a reply.'
Staff of two of the offending companies, which had been issued with summonses, had appeared in court and paid admission of guilt fines, said the complainant.

'I have been advised punitive rates were implemented two years ago, but they continue to operate, destroying our residential environment.'
There were minutes and e-mails to prove residents' attempts to get these industrial businesses moved.

'This is because they devalue our properties and add to crime by attracting a lot of unemployed people to our neighbourhood daily, not to mention the noise pollution at all hours, diesel pollution and fumes, and spray painting in the street. Just this week I was woken up at 5.45am with a truck being loaded with scaffolding.'
The City Watch team visited and found houses had been converted into businesses. One had heavy duty trucks entering and leaving. The trucks have damaged stormwater drains in the area.

Another house down the road had overgrown grass and chairs for security guards.

eThekwini Municipality spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa said: 'The land usage department will investigate the Pinetown issue. And if we find owners are contravening by-laws, they will be prosecuted.'

City Watch
Sunday Tribune


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