Residents unhappy with flats construction near bond houses

Ongoing construction of the flats near extension 0 bond houses in Cosmo City is causing concern among some of its neighbors, who claim that their privacy is being invaded and that there was a lack of proper consultation with affected bond house residents.

Las Vegas street residents, speaking to the Chronicle, said about 17 houses are affected by the construction.

“I am extremely mindful that the construction of these flats is inevitable,” said a resident who preferred to remain anonymous. “But every balcony of the flats is facing us, and we are not used to being watched. I feel like our privacy is now being invaded. It would be better if they could make the balconies face the other way.”

Residents say they held a series of meetings in an attempt to engage relevant stakeholders to resolve the issue. However, no concrete measures have been taken to satisfy the residents as the flats continue rising higher.

“We have tried the Ward Councillor,” a resident said. “She promised to get back to us via email, but we are still waiting. When we contacted the Department of Housing office, they told us everything was approved. We don’t know how it was approved as we were never consulted. On top of that they are using our wall without our permission. We are not happy at all.”

Residents said they will feel unsafe and overcrowded as soon as people start living in the new flats.

“It will be easy for someone from that place to notice whoever lives in the bond houses,” said one resident who preferred to be called Mabubula. “So that situation could work against us. It might lead to serious robberies. Other flats in Cosmo City are far from the houses. I wonder who approved a plan to build flats so close to our homes.

Ward 100 councillor Mapula Mosito said the construction was according to an approved plan.

“I have received a lot of complaints from extension 0, and an inspector has visited the area,” she said. “Unfortunately there is nothing I could do because the area was already demarcated for flats next to those bond houses. I think it is important for people to understand the map so that they know what could be built next to them.”

People should be consulted before construction begins next to their homes, said Gauteng’s DA Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga during his visit to Cosmo City.

“I can only give a concrete comment on this issue after I have understood everything,” he said. “If there was a proper application and it was approved, we need to know what was approved. If the members of community were not consulted, we need to know why.”

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