Today's Big Stories

Collapsing homes in Hartenbos a private matter

Thirty homes in the Seemeeu Complex are being affected by a landslide that's causing structural damage to these homes in Hartenbos.

CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies spoke to resident Rhoda da Silva on Monday and he described the challenges experienced by these home owners.

The landslide appears to have been caused by the fact that two complexes were built on what used to be the Brakkefontein quarry, without the necessary construction safeguards put in place.

Harry Hill, Mossel Bay acting municipal manager says it is not unusual that residential developments are constructed in a quarry.

Hill says the development for the site was approved in 1999 and the municipality at that time required an environmental impact assessment to be done.

The problem started in March 2016 when residents came to us to inform us that the houses were cracking due to the landslide.

Harry Hill, Mossel Bay acting municipal manager

We commissioned a geotechnical report immediately and it was found that the problem was caused by the sliding of the underground geological formations.

Harry Hill, Mossel Bay acting municipal manager

According to Hill what is happening in the area is a natural occurrence and the land is privately owned and the municipality is not supposed to do anything on private land.

However, the municipality has stopped asking residents to pay for services and taxes.

Hill says a geotechnical report was not commissioned at the time because it was not required according to law. The law came to effect later.

That is the matter between the property owner and their insurer.

Harry Hill, Mossel Bay acting municipal manager

To hear what actions these resident could take, listen to the audio below:

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