Motion: Let’s face it, Flamingo Court was a stuff up…

The Speaker – eThekwini Council
Councillor Logie Naidoo
City Hall

26 May 2013


Dear Mr Speaker


This council noting that:

  • Flamingo Court in Umbilo used to be a council-owned building
  • eThekwini sold the flats in the building to residents
  • Individual metering per unit was not installed for water
  • The body corporate has collapsed, and water debt has crippled the building
  • eThekwini Water has previously applied to courts to cut water from the building completely

Resolves that the Executive Committee investigates and reports back on:

1. eThekwini Municipality must acknowledge that it was negligent in not installing individual metering before transferring the flats to low income owners;
2. A moratorium must be placed on disconnecting the building’s water supply;
3. Individual water meters must be installed urgently;
4. The water debt for the entire building must be written off from the date that the individual meters are installed.



Cllr Warwick Chapman



Cllr Hlanganani Gumbi

Statement: ANC declines to place more urgency on improving housing delivery

The Chairperson of the eThekwini Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr William Mapena, declined a request from the DA at today’s sitting for the Committee to regard with more urgency the improving the delivery of housing in eThekwini.

During the 2011/12 financial year, eThekwini Municipality delivered only 4900 houses, a fraction of the nearly 19000 houses delivered by the council at its peak in 2008. Reasons given for this slowdown in delivery of housing in eThekwini are many and varied, ranging from reduced funding from provincial government to problems with environmental legislation. The truth however, is hidden in the Manase report, giving us some idea just why council has been so reluctant to keep this report from the public.

Off the record conversations with senior housing officials during the course of this year has made it clear that eThekwini’s Housing Department got used to flouting legislation, not being compliant with regulations, and awarding contracts left right and centre – resulting in impressive output of housing. During the tenure of Mike Mabuyakhula as Human Settlements MEC, the eThekwini housing department was said to have been given near open access to funds without the onerous reporting obligations normally required. These allegations would seem to be supported by the over R432m irregular expenditure the AGs report found to have taken place in the housing department during the 2010/11 financial year.

The net result is that eThekwini Housing department, now having to comply with the regulations and report timeously to the provincial department, is struggling to get sufficient projects moving on the ground. The housing backlog in eThekwini is around 450 000 units, which would take us over 40 years to meet we’re we building houses at 2008 delivery rates and will take us well over a century at present rates.

Against this backdrop, DA councillor Warwick Chapman urged the Human Settlements and Infrastructure committee and the officials present from the Housing Department to place more urgency on the challenge of ramping up housing delivery in eThekwini. He pointed out that in the period of the last three months, not a single report had been tabled before the committee relating to the delivery of housing projects in eThekwini.

Committee chairperson councillor Wlliam Mapena glossed over Chapman’s request and later referred him to the 140 page quarterly report of the Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) to seek answers to his request and closed the matter.

The DA in eThekwini recognises the importance of delivery sufficient housing opportunities every year in order to meaningfully improve the living conditions of over 1 million eThekwini residents who live in informal settlements. In order for the eThekwini Housing Department to ramp up the delivery of housing, the committee must take more seriously the challenges the department faces. The department must be urgently be shored up with the necessary specialist personnel to navigate the complex legislative and reporting framework required to sustainably access sufficient housing grants from the provincial department.



Media enquiries

Warwick Chapman
083 7797 094

Statement: ANC in Cato Crest Destroys 5 Dwellings as Threat to DA Supporters


Despite assurances that the planned illegal evictions in Cato Crest had been stopped, late this afternoon residents were surprised when 5 dwellings were destroyed in what would appear to be a politically motivated action.

Today at 3pm the DA’s councillor in Cato Crest Hlanganani Gumbi and DA Spokesperson on Housing Cllr Warwick Chapman met with Mayor James Nxumalo to discuss the illegal threats of evictions in Cato Crest by the ward councillor and ANC Branch Executive Committee in the area. While the meeting was taking place, unknown to the DA or the Mayor, earthmoving machinery demolished 5 dwellings in Cato Crest.

Mayor Nxumalo and Chairperson for Human Settlements Cllr Nigel Gumede both unequivocally stated the evictions must be lawful and alternate accommodation must be provided. Mayor Nxumalo requested that the DA compile a formal complaint and submit it to the Muncipal Manager Mr Sbu Sithole as soon as possible and forward a copy to his office. He assured the DA that an investigation would take place from the City Manager’s office into how it is that a political structure of the ANC could be handling evictions and demolitions in Cato Crest.

The demolitions which were taking while the meeting was being held were undertaken under the supervision of the ward councillor’s assistant who is said by community members to have told them that, “We are coming here to show you that you must move”, and after demolishing the structures said, “Now you can call your DA.”

Cllr Gumbi, took affected residents to Cato Manor SAPS to lay charges relating to the demolition of their structures and destruction of property, however SAPS declined to open any cases. “We were told not to open new cases but instead to meet with the investigating officer Tuesday morning to include these charges in the existing case”, said Cllr Gumbi.

Cllr Gumbi has spend the better part of 48 hours working with community members to stop this illegal action. The SAPS have been extremely reluctant to enforce the law and prevent these illegal evictions. Only after senior MPs and MPLs intervened was any assistance from SAPS forthcoming. At the demolitions which took place today, SAPS did not respond.

The DA reiterates its full support for the eradication of shack settlements and the provision of formal housing in eThekwini. We however require that each step in the process of converting shack settlements into formal housing are undertaken lawfully and with respect for the dignity of those affected as a result. “We condemn the direct involvement of political structures in the work of our City government and cite it as a blatant example of the conflation of party and state”, said Cllr Chapman.

“We call on Mayor Nxumalo and City Manager Sbu Sithole to intervene as a matter of urgency and stop any further illegal action. SAPS also need to ensure they enforce the law without favour.”, said Cllr Gumbi.

Gumbi 076 288 8844
Chapman 083 7797 094



DA Condemns Illegal Evictions In Lamontville


14 September, 2011

Warwick Chapman, DA Spokesperson on Human Settlements in eThekwini

Yesterday I visited the Lamontville Transit Facility along with Cllr Hlanganani Gumbi and Cllr Sithembiso Ngema to investigate allegations of ANC branch-level corruption.

We met with about 50 community members who stated that the hundreds of people living at the camp were either documented, meaning they have papers entitling them to a council house at some stage in the future, or undocumented and paying rent. When we enquired who they were paying rent to, community members responded that the councillors committee members were taking the rent money. Since ward committees have not yet been established since the election, we enquired whether the committee they referred to was the local ANC Branch Executive Committee. The community members confirmed this to be the case.

They said they had been visited by the ANC Councillor Mr Sandile Ndlovu yesterday to inform them that those people without documentation would be evicted to make way for recently evicted shack dwellers.

I immediately called Head: Housing, Mr Cogi Pather, who confirmed that such evictions were not driven by housing department and since they manage the facility were illegal. He did, however, indicate that eThekwini Housing were seeking legal advice on how to remove the undocumented residents.

Thereafter Cllr Ngema called and informed W/O Khawula from Lamontville SAPS of the situation and requested that SAPS members be advised accordingly and be on stand-by should any action take place.

Today just after 11:00, nearby evicted shack dwellers and residents from the nearby Community Residential Unit (Hostel), descended on the transit facility threatening the residents and telling them they were to be kicked out.

Just before twelve today, eThekwini Municipality truck NDM7010 and Vehicle NDM6998 marked “Security Management”, supported by armed personnel and moved in on the Lamontville Transit Camp.

I again confirmed with Head: eThekwini Housing that they do not have authority yet to evict anyone from that facility. Allegations that the local ANC BEC has been renting out empty rooms would suggest that the same BEC and is now using the council to evict its ‘tenants’.

All indications are that local ANC structures in Lamontville have been illegally renting units in the transit camp and are now scrambling to evict these people to make way for the intended use of this facility.

As at 12:15, we are advised that evictions have started, the locks to units are being smashed and people’s belongings removed.

We URGENTLY call on SAPS to enforce the law and require that legal documentation be presented proving the basis for the evictions, failing which the action be stopped immediately. We have just requested Durban Flying Squad intervene.

We wish a formal investigation to be instituted into the allegations that undocumented residents were renting their units from a local political structure or persons in said structure.


Cllr Warwick Chapman
083 7797 094