Land owner forced to stop excavation on Lakeview Drive

The relevant role-players in the area.

Residents from Lakeview Drive in Silverglen woke up to a huge excavator digging up the beautiful natural vegetation across the road from their houses, on Tuesday.

They immediately contacted their street captain via Whatsapp and got their ward councillor, Tony Govender, involved. Cllr Govender did the relevant investigations and found that the developer had nothing from council authorities permitting him to execute any work in that highly sensitive DMOSS protected area.

DMOSS is the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System, which was also previously known as the eThekwini Environmental Services Management Plan. Apart from contributing to the attainment of provincial and national biodiversity conservation targets, DMOSS provides a range of ecosystem goods and services to all residents of Durban, including the formation of soil, erosion control, water supply and regulation, climate regulation, cultural and recreational opportunities, raw materials for craft and building, food production, pollination, nutrient cycling and waste treatment.

Residents were shocked to see the damage, which they described as catastrophic due to the large area of land which was excavated.

The stream was covered with sand and rubble and many indigenous trees and plants were destroyed. The owner of the land was given a directive by eThekwini senior law enforcement official, Abdul Domingo, to halt all work at the area until a proper inspection by the eThekwini Environmental Department was carried out.

“The owner was informed that this kind of environmental crime attracted fines of up to R10 million. He was also instructed to fence the degraded area as it posed a threat to pedestrians and road uses,’ said Cllr Govender.

Chairman of the Silverglen Selfhelp Committee, Shaun Hammond, said it would be very difficult for somebody to commit crimes including environmental atrocities such as these in Silverglen and get away with it as the residents care for their homeland by being good loyal watch dogs of their neighbourhood.

The Silverglen Civic Association works closely with all the relevant prosecuting authorities in the fight to maintain law and order in Silverglen.

 

  AUTHOR
Yoshini Perumal
Journalist

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