NATIONAL NEWS - The structure that is currently under development at the old Milner Bridge is continuing to spark concerns among Lowvelders. The Dova Dova Shisa Nyama, as it has been named by the owner, is situated at the entrance of Oewersig Parklands on the banks of the Crocodile River. Residents and motorists say the structure is placed on one of the most admired historical landmarks in Mbombela and is an eyesore.
Lowvelder visited the area and the owner is adamant that he is leasing the area from the City of Mbombela Local Municipality (CMLM).
“CMLM will have more information about my lease,” he said. He referred to himself as Mavimbela. The venue appears to be a recreational facility and includes tables and chairs, containers used for preparing food and a permanent building on the far end.
Joseph Ngala, spokesperson for the municipality said he would investigate the matter further. He had previously told the newspaper that heritage status, in terms of the Heritage Protection Act, was conferred on the bridge. This means that it has historical relevance and a submission must be made to the Heritage Council for permission to construct or connect any structure to it.
Ngala said no application was submitted in terms of the provisions of SPLUMA to amend the land use rights. He added that the current land use is therefore illegal.
The owner of the shisa nyama claimed that his intention is to create job opportunities and to make ends meet. “If I did not have permission to be here I would not have an account with the municipality. I never realised the impact that the extension of the structure will have in the community. I saw a business opportunity and knowing that I pay for the services, it never occurred to me that it could be an issue,” he explained.
He added that if it were explained to him that the structure should not be attached to the bridge, he would not have done so. “I am considering and willing to move the structure for more than 10 metres away from the bridge. My intentions are not to cause problems, I am just trying to make a living, “he said. By the time of going to press, Ngala had not responded to the enquiry.