The Area Based Management Unit of eThekwini Municipality recently conducted an enforcement blitz with various departments including Environmental Health, Metro Police, Town-planning, Building Inspectorate, and Fire, regarding illegal business operations in Ward 51, Phoenix. The blitz comes after the department was contacted by Ward 51 Councillor Maggie
Johnson who received several complaints from residents regarding the operations. According to Johnson, there were a number of businesses without the proper documentation operating within the ward.
“Panel beating and spray painting operations had mushroomed all over creating health problems and noise pollution to neighbouring properties. At one of the panel beating sites, I had to call Metro Police every weekend because of the grating sound of the angle grinder. Residents cannot sleep as the gentleman in question starts his panel beating early in the morning,” Jonhson said.
The team visited various places where residents have complained and found many businesses that were not compliant. According to the various officials, notices were previously served but businesses still failed to comply as unregistered vehicles were parked on the road verges.
“Sites allocated to developers which have become dump sites were also visited. Despite requesting them on various occasions to clean up and fence off their vacant properties, they failed to do so. Neighbouring residents have taken advantage of these unkempt sites and have started dumping there, turning them into an eyesore. There were complaints of car washes having no proper drainage system in place, resulting in water running onto the road, endangering motorists as water has chemicals and foam.
“Some residents were complaining of mosquitoes breeding in puddles of water. An abandoned house and a dilapidated building in Brookdale was also visited,” said Johnson.
On the second day of the blitz, the team visited various places in Palmview, Phoenix. “The problem of trucks delivering bread as early as 4am in the morning to a house in Palmview was also addressed as the revving trucks were disturbing the neighbours. The scrap metal operation and the other businesses operating from Jampalm Place were also addressed. Notices were served where there were transgressions. Subsequent visits by the relevant departments will be conducted,” added Johnson.
She iterated that while she understands that people need to eke out a living, it has to be done so without affecting other people. Johnson warned that businesses operating from their houses and refusing to comply with the town-planning regulations will be charged commercial rates. Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said that the blitz will continue in all areas until they contain law, order and discipline with business owners and drivers on public roads. “As we approach the festive season, we will intensify the operations, targeting all road users,” he said. Illegal business owners were given warnings and notices to shut down.