Property loses sunlight over neighbour's illegal additions
Imagine getting up one morning on a beautiful sunny day and realising that the fresh air and natural light you always took for granted had gone.
All because your neighbour installed a 5m-high illegal structure.
This is what the Khan family has been facing for the past two years.
The Khan family say they are living in a basement because of the 12m-long awning that is blocking sunlight from entering their house.
Riaz Khan of 68 Hannaford Road in Phoenix says the "battle" started in October 2011 when his neighbour installed a high awning virtually on his boundary. "We are blocked in, it's like we are living in a basement. I have windows in my sitting room and dining room, but now the rooms are dark and we have no sunlight coming in." said Khan.
Khan said he had tried numerous times to reason with his neighbour, Abdul Hamid Khan of 70 Hannaford Drive, but to no avail. "My wife and I contacted him in October 2011 asking him to remove the awning. We even invited him to come into our house and have a look at how dark and hot the rooms are. He acknowledged our concerns and agreed to remove it, but he hasn't done anything about it."
The battle of the Khans continued when Riaz contacted the eThekwini development management unit and pleaded his case with them.
"I was directed to a local building inspector who covers the Phoenix area. We had a meeting with him, but nothing really came out of it," he said.
CityWatch visited the property and can confirm the scorching temperatures and lack of light. When we attempted to speak to the neighbour, they referred us to their lawyer, Meera Chabillal, for comment. When CityWatch called Chabillal she said before abruptly cutting off the call, "I don't have time for this, and you can put that in the too."
The deputy head of the department of development management, Musa Mbhele, said: "Abdul Khan had in fact never submitted a plan before building the structure. In this instance, an unauthorised building works notice was issued on December 13, 2011. The alleged offender forwarded a request to this office asking for an extension of time for the submission of plans which was accepted.
"A planning application was submitted on March 7, 2012, to the land use management department and it was refused on July 4, 2012.
"It has not been resubmitted. The offender will be prosecuted for non compliance."