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Thursday Aug 14, 2014

Sydenham property owners slam home businesses

The mushrooming of business in houses in Sydenham has angered residents, who accuse Ward 21's DA councillor, Jethro Lefevre, of ignoring their complaints.

Easlyn Young, chairperson of the Sydenham policing forum (Park Estate Centre), said community concerns including the illegal businesses had been communicated to Lefevre with no feedback.

'We find it difficult to move on our roads because of vehicles blocking the way.

'In Randles Road, there are homes converted into medical practices, while another one is converted into a garden restoration business.

'There was no consultation with community members before this was done.

'We are not sure if permits were obtained from the municipality for operational purposes and our councillor (Lefevre) is yet to address us on the issue,' said Young.

Cyril George, a community member, said: 'In meetings we've been discussing the same thing. We are tired of vehicle repair workshops in our neighbourhood. The situation is not getting better, and it is spiralling out of control throughout Durban.'

Lefevre denied the allegations that he ignored people's concerns.

'The municipal land use management is aware of the situation in the area. In fact, we have bigger problems regarding illegal businesses in Sydenham. Roslyn Avenue is worse, and it is land use management's responsibility to resolve the matter,' said Lefevre.

He said people should accept that communities were changing and that it was part of the city's economic policy to build business hubs.

'It should be celebrated that people are opening businesses and thereby creating jobs, as long as the businesses are not invasive and are within the legal framework,' he said.

Abdull Domingo, enforcement and prosecution manager in Durban's land use management department, said he could not comment on the cases at hand.

'I'm bound by protocol and by the fact that we have received many cases of illegal businesses around town from Jethro and others. Sydenham is huge.'

Sydenham falls under the Durban town planning scheme.

Domingo says this provides for applicants for business to use 30 percent of their total plot space for offices.

The Star




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