Ports plan could sink suburb
Durban residents say they will not give up their homes to make way for a multi-billion rand port expansion.
"Clairwood is not for sale," Clairwood Ratepayers and Residents' Association chairman Rishi Singh said at a public meeting yesterday.
The meeting was held to mobilise residents in Merebank, Wentworth, Umlazi, Isipingo and The Bluff against the R250-billion harbour expansion plan.
The plan includes the creation of two multibillion-rand ports at the site of the old Durban airport and in Bayhead, and the rezoning of Clairwood for cargo-related businesses.
In May, eThekwini released Transnet's port-expansion plans, which include a proposal to rezone Clairwood from special residential to a logistics zone.
Singh said at least 6000 people would be forced to move.
He said that, though the municipality had not ordered residents to move, it had advised them to sell.
"If my neighbour decides to sell, his land would automatically become a logistics zone and I could be living next to a truck company.
"If people start selling, the suburb will quickly move to a full logistics zone and ultimately there would be no suburb," Singh said.
He said the new ports would increase traffic throughout the south Durban basin and lead to a rise in pollution .
"We are talking about human beings. What happened to our constitutional rights, which state that, in a residential area, we have the right to a safe and clean environment?" he said.
But eThekwini spokesman Thabo Mofokeng denied that there had been attempts to bully Clairwood residents out of their homes.
"The current zoning rights for property owners will remain.
"Only when land is sold, or redeveloped or acquired, will the new zoning take effect ," he said.