Talk of the Town is highlighting this issue in the hope of getting municipal response.
The following e-mail was sent to municipal spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa, and copied to municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni, infrastructure director Noluthando Vithi, deputy director of community protection services Fanie Fouche, and Ward 10 councillor Ray Schenk.
How long ago did any municipal health inspector or environmental law officer or bylaw compliance officer or any official at all visit the municipal buildings in Pascoe Crescent?
This property is a municipal asset, and there once was a serious proposal to develop it, which was repeatedly contested in court on the basis that the municipality did not follow legal process. After that the municipality considered revamping it to use as municipal offices, rather than renting office space in town.
But now the entire area is in a shocking state (see the pictures). From behind the former Lounge (market building) to the makeshift tent that has been set up beyond the last building, the place is littered with all kinds of rubbish and filth. It looks like other people even come dump rubbish there so it looks like a landfill. A number of people are living there, occupying rooms that are wholly unfit for human habitation – one was event burnt by fire. It is a health hazard and environmental hazard to the adjacent wetland.
The businesses that operate from there (like in the Sikhulise Skills Centre) complain about the filth and vagrants but are powerless to do anything about it.
- Why did the municipality allow vagrants to occupy the property and become squatters, living in appalling conditions?
- Seeing how bad the situation has become, what will the municipality do about it?
- Which of the businesses that operate from there actually have business rights and permission from the municipality?
- If they are there illegally, what will the municipality do about it?
- When will the municipality come clear all the rubbish from their own property?
- What are the municipality’s plans for the property other than to let it become a slum?
Please respond to my questions.