Thursday, September 17, 2015


(Some the residents at the meeting at the Ottawa Civic Hall on Thursday, Sept 10 2015) (By Subry Govender ) The village of Ottawa, near Verulam, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast is primarily a residential area and no truckers, scrap yards and other illegal businesses should be allowed to operate in the village. The was the clear and candid message conveyed to Ethekwini Municipality Town Planning officials at a meeting at the Ottawa Civic Hall on Thursday (Sept 10) evening. The meeting was convened by the Town Planning Department to inform residents about the municipality's "Ottawa Functional Area Plan and Scheme Project". After being informed of the proposals by the Planning officials, the residents spoke out against the general degeneration and degradation of Ottawa by some trucking companies and scrap yard dealers who are operating in various parts of the village. They pointed out vociferously and clearly that Ottawa was primarily a residential area and future developmental plans should take this into account. The residents emphasised that: * Ottawa is a rich historical village and the residential nature of the area should not be tampered with. * Trucking companies, scrap yard dealers and other illegal businesses are destroying the environment, including the Ohlanga River and its streams. A number of truckers are dumping sand into the river and one businessman had even set up a poultry business on the river near the Ottawa bridge. The municipality is doing nothing to take action and move the businesses to an industrial area. *Any future developmental plan should ensure that the environment is protected and the municipality should take steps to stop the degeneration and degradation of the area. Residents said after the meeting that it was coincidental that the meeting had been organised by the Town Planning officials at a time when Durban was hosting the 14th World Forestry Congress at the ICC. The Congress delegates, who are from all parts of the world, want to protect forests in their countries to, among other things, counter climatic change and promote the future of humanity. "We sincerely hope that as Durban and South Africa is concerned about preserving and protecting our forests, the environment and our heritage, that the Planning people in the city will spare a thought for the residents of Ottawa who have to put up with the degeneration and degradation of our village on a daily basis by unscrupulous business people and lack of action by the municipality. It is also the onus of residents to exercise their civic responsibility to prevent and conserve their residential and surrounding environments," said Ms Andisha Maharaj, Facilitator of the Ottawa Environmental Forum. ends - subry govender Sept 11 2015

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