Protesters dump faeces at newly built houses in Kariega

They claim they should be allowed to move into the houses. But the municipality says they’re not the rightful beneficiaries.

| By

A protester walks away from the scene where faeces and dirt were thrown on the doorsteps of nearly 40 new RDP houses near Doornhoek informal settlement in Kariega on Friday. The dispute is over who the rightful beneficiaries are for the new housing project. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Human waste and rotting dirt were thrown on the doorsteps of nearly 40 new RDP houses near Doornhoek informal settlement in Kariega on Friday.

Doornhoek is one of 156 informal settlements currently being formalised by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, as per a Council resolution of 30 April 2021.

The new housing development, still under construction, has sparked conflict between the families set to move into the houses and some shack dwellers who believe they should be the beneficiaries of the same houses.

Trouble started in 2019, when some of the neighbouring shack dwellers had occupied the land earmarked for the new housing development site. After this, the families meant to benefit from the RDP project were moved onto the land to prevent further occupations.

On Friday morning, the beneficiaries say they woke up to find the space outside their RDP homes resembling a dump site.

Resident Katie Oliphant said they found burnt tyres, old mattresses, and dirt in front of their new houses and on Doornhoek Street.

“There was also human waste thrown in front of our new houses. We are temporarily living in shacks while we wait for the keys to move into the new RDP houses,” she said.

She said she registered for an RDP house in 1997. “They [protesters] must go to jail for making the street dirty and vandalism. They came and occupied the land, built shacks, but we have been placed here legally by the municipality.”

Another resident Kim Khusal said the municipality should have completed their houses in 2003. “Last year we received our yellow cards to move to the land. Two weeks ago, the contractor was sabotaged by these ten families who vandalised and stole electricity. Now they are making another mess,” she said.

Hugh-Reece Williams, who led the protesters on Friday, claimed that he was among ten families who had moved onto the land.

He blamed Ward 47 Councillor Lungile Langbooi for causing confusion among residents. “When he comes here, he always talks to the 39 families, instead of us. He must not set foot here. He had promised that we would be moved into the RDP houses later.”

Councillor Langbooi told GroundUp that the process of moving the rightful beneficiaries will start as soon as the electrification of the RDP houses is completed. “I have requested the police to deal with the protesters,” he said.

TOPICS:  Housing

Next:  Durban police brutality case adjourned again

Previous:  TotalEnergies will destroy our livelihoods say small scale fishers

© 2024 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.