Angry residents gathered in Endurance Road on Wednesday after a construction container arrived the night before.
Janine Lewis, secretary of The Conifers Ratepayers’ Association, says the issue started several years ago when rumours surfaced that a housing development was being planned.
She says there was no consultation with the residents.
“We wrote to the Mayor and the Premier and even went into meetings with the department and we were waiting for them to respond to us, then we saw the container. Our problem is that we asked for the sewage infrastructure to be attended to first because we have pipe bursts all the time.”
Resident Kevin Booys says the container was erected next to his home and he was never informed.
“I have lived here for over 25 years and nobody gave me a letter or anything. They just came to put that thing next to my house.”
Muneera Allie, spokesperson for the human settlements department, says the project commenced in 2014 and a total of 297 houses will be built.
She confirms that the new homes will be built between existing homes on plots owned by the department at a cost of just over R55 million.
“The community identified the need for backyard dwellers, who cannot get bonded homes, and approached the department requesting assistance in this regard. The department thus responded to the community’s request,” Allie says.
“Meetings and public participation sessions have been conducted since the project’s commencement in 2014.”
Lewis, however, is adamant that they were not consulted. “There were two families at those meetings and we raised this. They cannot speak for everyone.”