The fat is in the fire in Dunoon over a neighbourhood braai joint, which an angry neighbour says has belched smoke and soot her family’s way for the past two years.
Nondumiso Kika says life has a been misery since her neighbour, Xoliswa Mkwele, rented part of her property to a couple who set up a braai business.
The fires are lit daily in two half-barrel braziers, says Ms Kika, 51, a mother four children, aged 26, 23, 16 and 9. And as the meat sizzles on the other side of the makeshift fence of wire and wooden board, the smoke drifts into her yard and her home.
The walls and windows of Ms Kika’s home are coated in black soot, which she says is the result of living next to the constant braaing.
“At first, I didn’t have a problem with them because they are running their own business and it is not on my property. The problem started when the smoke from the fire got too much. It is damaging my home and making me and my children sick,” she said.
While speaking to Ms Kika, Tabetalk noticed movement next door, and the braai started. Soon a thick cloud of smoke was hanging over Ms Kika’s home.
Ms Kika built an extra room on to her two-bedroom house in 2016. She rents it out, but she said the tenants were unhappy about living next to the braai joint. And Ms Kika is reluctant to plaster or paint the extension while it is in the firing line of so much smoke and soot.
“These people start the fire around three or four in the afternoon, and it goes on until midnight or 1am. This happens every single day.”
Ms Mkwele said Ms Kika had never complained to her directly about the braai joint.
“She should have came to me first before running to the paper.”
She then claimed to have given her tenants three months notice to leave.
“These people that rent here are going to leave by the end of March,” she said.
But then one of the braai-joint owners, Gcinikhaya Tapisi, arrived and disputed what Ms Mkwele had just said, saying he and his wife had signed a five-year contract with her in 2015 and expected to see it through to the end.
When Tabletalk put this to Ms Mkwele, Mr Tapisi interrupted and said “no more questions” and told her not to answer any more questions. He then ordered us off the premises.
Earlier, Mr Tapisi claimed there had been communicate breakdown between himself and Ms Kika.
“This woman has a bad attitude. She has once come out of her house screaming and swearing at us and took a hosepipe and sprayed the fire with water.
“What you need to understand is that this is a township, and there is no formal way of doing things. There are many braai stands like ours all over Dunoon, but you will never hear of anyone complaining, so what makes her so special?”
Milnerton police spokesperson Captain Nopaya Madyibi suggested Ms Kika contact City law enforcement about the issue.
Ms Kika said she had done that in January but had not heard anything further on the matter.
Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, said Ms Mkwele had not submitted building plans for the braai area.
He said Ms Kika should contact the City’s environmental health department or submit a formal complaint .
“The inspectors will then assess the site and issue a compliance notice if there are infringements of the relevant by-laws,” said Mr Herron.