Hitting a wall

A surveyors arial plan of the area shows the impact of walls built on Ms Pikes boundary.

A Gugulethu woman says her struggle with a neighbour who built a wall narrowing her driveway has left her in debt and given her sleepless nights.

Nothando Pike, 55, of Luyolo Village, Gugulethu, says the wall makes it impossible for her to park the family’s car and minibus in the yard.

For the past six months she has been embroiled in a bitter battle over the “illegal” boundary wall, and she has accused the City of Cape Town of failing to help her.

“If we force the car in it gets scratched,” she said.

“The Toyata Quantum gets only through the gate and no further. Once it is in, we are forced to climb over one of the walls to get to the house from the gate and the other way around.”

Ms Pike’s misery began in October last year when her front neighbour built a boundary wall.

She said it had been done without municipal approval.

“They never came to me with their plans to sign. I just saw their walls going up,” she said.

Ms Pike said she had noticed the problem when her son came back with the car.

“It would not go through. As a result, we removed some of the bricks for the car to go through,” said Ms Pike.

She had notified her neighbour about the problem, but the woman had “continued to build”.

Ms Pike reported the matter to the Gugulethu municipal office which referred her to the Athlone municipal office.

An inspector visited the house and advised Ms Pike to get a land surveyor to clarify the property boundaries as it would help the City to force the guilty parties to comply with the law and demolish any illegally built walls.

Ms Pike said she had paid the surveyor R2 500. “I had to get money from the mashonisas to get the matter sorted.”

The cadastral map produced by the surveyor, and seen by Vukani, shows encroachment on Ms Pike’s property by not only her front neighbour’s wall but also by the walls of two other neighbours.

However, despite paying for the surveyor, Ms Pike said the City had refused to help her and, to make matters worse, her front neighbour was suing her for R18 000 for damaging the wall.

“This is severely affecting me. I do not sleep at night when I think about this whole situation,” said Ms Pike. “I have run out of ideas and do not know what to do.”

Vukani sent questions to the City on Monday and followed up again on Tuesday, but by the time this edition went to print they had not responded.

Vukani will publish their response when we receive it.