Redcliff Municipality evicts 600 defaulters

via Redcliff Municipality evicts 600 defaulters | The Herald August 10, 2015

REDCLIFF Municipality is evicting 600 tenants from council houses for failing to pay rent.

Redcliff Mayor Mr Freddy Kapuya told The Herald recently that the occupants owed the town almost $1 million.

The Midlands town owns 860 houses, which it is now selling to sitting tenants.

Those that are being evicted failed to pay rentals ranging between $12 and $20 a month.

They also failed to come up with a payment plan and the debt has ballooned to $1 million, according to Mr Kapuya.

He said council would realise $13 million from the sale of the houses enabling it to provide services to residents.

“We have 860 houses. The houses are rented out to people.

“The houses belonged to Ziscosteel and it handed them over to council 25 years ago. Ziscosteel initially wanted their employees to stay there. The houses were not surveyed and were substandard with people using communal toilets,” said Mr Kapuya.

He said council saw the need to standardise the houses and borrowed $1 million in 2012.

“We then upgraded the houses so that we could sell them. For a two-roomed house, council charges $12, and $20 a four-roomed house a month.

“The houses are sitting on stands ranging between 150 and 300 square metres,” explained Mr Kapuya.

“They are failing to pay either $12 or $20 a month, which translates to $120 a year.

“Basically, they are staying for free.

“We made a resolution in January that we need to evict these people. We evicted them without a court order in December last year and they successfully appealed in court. The court said we should use proper procedures.”

Mr Kapuya said council, through its lawyers, then wrote to the tenants advising them to come up with a payment plan to liquidate the debts.

“Some came up with a payment plan while others ignored.

“Some have not paid a cent since July 15, 2013 after Government directed that we cancel their debts.

“They now owe us on average $900 per household. Council then obtained a judgment to evict those who did not come up with a payment plan. Last time we evicted 400 and this time around we are evicting 200 to make them 600,” said Mr Kapuya.