By Cllr Marion Mackley, Ward 4 Councillor – Buffalo City Metro Municipality:
A sadly neglected and now totally vandalised Municipal residential dwelling in Quenera Link Road has exposed the BCMM officials’ inability to make a decision. Rather than make a decision, they have allowed this dwelling to be vandalised to a point where it is now being condemned and on the verge of collapse as the roof is structurally unsound.
Though BCMM had the option to lease the property out at a market related rental when it became vacant a few years ago officials chose to allow the dwelling to lie vacant. Opportunists moved in and stripped out all doors, windows, plumbing, electrical and even the roof trusses.
Without these roof trusses, the roof is now balancing precariously and dangerously. In 2014 the property was condemned and advice to demolish the roof was ignored. A severe wind storm could result in the entire structure collapsing.
To date there is still no signage at the entrance to the property to warn people not to enter leaving the soft underbelly of the Municipality open to a claim should the vagrants living in the remnants of the house be crushed if and when the building collapses on top of them.
Two years ago a claim was lodged against the Municipal insurance policy to repair the damage at that point. Insurers agreed to pay half the costs with BCMM having to cover the balance. At this stage the repair costs were in the vicinity of R216.000.00. No decision was made to proceed and the insurance claim hangs in the balance.
The building is now in such a bad state that repairs are no longer being considered and instead costs to demolish and rebuild the dwelling have escalated to roughly R1,500,000.00.
The loss of the house’s original value and the costs to demolish and potentially rebuild on the property is just another case of BCMM ‘fruitless and wasteful expenditure’ due to the inability of officials to make decisions and take action.
The Democratic Alliance will insist that the Director of Development and Planning, Ms Nonceba Mbali-Majeng, is made to account for this totally unacceptable state of affairs on her watch and has referred the issue to be fully investigated by Municipal Public Accountability Committee of Council.