Neglected plots in Wyebank attract rats and criminals

One of the neglected plots in Wyebank is now being used as an illegal dumping area.

RESIDENTS in Croton Place, Wyebank have been forced to tolerate an odour emanating from neglected plots for more than a year.

One of the residents, Mac Padayachee, said, “The overgrown grass makes it easy for criminals to gain access into people’s houses and they also use the bushes to hide. My house has also been targeted a couple of times.

Apart from the criminal activities in the area, Padayachee said those plots have become a health hazard as some people have turned the plots into illegal dumping areas.

“We have big rats entering our homes from those bushes. The plots are privately owned and we do not know who the owners are. Two of the plots were sold last year, but we have not seen a single soul trying to clear the area,” he added.

eThekwini Municipality said the respective properties are private land, therefore the onus lies with the land owners to protect their properties or surrender them to Council should they find it difficult to maintain and/or protect.

The eThekwini Municipality issued a statement and said: “The municipality therefore, does not have the power to act in the absence of an official letter, preferably endorsed by the court of law asking for the City to intervene. If the landowners require the grass to be cut by Council, they have to complete the necessary forms and the cost for cutting the grass will be offset against the owner’s rates.”

The complaints generally reported to the municipality by members of the public with regards to abandoned properties are unhygienic conditions, overgrown bushes, rodents, building in a state of disrepair, theft of water and electricity, offensive smell due to urine and human waste deposit, crime in the neighbourhood, sale of alcohol and drugs, unsightly building and public disturbance.

The municipality appeals to property owners to ensure that their properties are well maintained as derelict buildings impact negatively on the surrounding neighbourhood. Residents can also report any illegal activity to the South African Police Service and Metro Police.

The 24-hour call centre number that they can contact is 031 361 0000 (emergency services, Metro police, fire and disaster management).

Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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