News 7.7.2017 10:05 am

No progress on Sassa CEO ‘hobo house’ dilemma

The 'hobo house' in Krewelkring, Meerensee

The 'hobo house' in Krewelkring, Meerensee

Residents say the Sassa boss’ property remains a health risk and a crime den.

Five months after neighbours first decried the half-built house in Krewelkring, which they claimed had become a health hazard, drug den and sleeping quarters for Richards Bay vagrants, the Meerensee Community Police Forum on Monday said not much had changed, Zululand Observer reports.

CPF patrollers in April raided the house following a flood of complaints, finding used condoms, human faeces, stripped electronics, trolleys, drugs, smouldering fires and rubbish scattered across the property.

Three men were seen fleeing into a nearby greenbelt.

After news of the suburban nightmare broke, the owner of the house, South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokonazi Magwaza, started building a boundary wall, but CPF’s Corrie Pretorius said the house was still inhabited by criminal elements.

READ MORE: Sassa chief’s Richards Bay ‘hobo house’ raises the ire of neighbours

“The pool is a filthy health risk and although the owner reacted by starting to build a wall, which has also halted now, no effort has been made to clean up.

“We have notified the municipality and police as it is certainly affecting surrounding properties and continues to be a challenge in crime prevention initiatives.

“The winter season has also ushered in a number of new homeless folks who inhabit this house and the incomplete buildings in Knorhaanbaai street.

“These people often turn to petty crime to survive. This then emphasises the need for a homeless shelter in Richards Bay. With our warmer climate, this city is known for volumes of homeless folk and therefore we are in great need of such a facility.”

City of uMhlathuze spokesperson Mdu Ncalane recently said: “The municipality acknowledges that the only available shelter in eSikahleni is not enough. We strongly discourage the invading of empty houses by anyone, even if it is not homeless persons. Private properties remain private, even if there is no one inside.”

READ MORE

Sassa chief’s Richards Bay ‘hobo house’ raises the ire of neighbours

– Caxton News Service

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