eThekwini cracking down on derelict buildings

Amanda Khoza, News24

Durban – One of Durban’s most dilapidated buildings, home to more than 500 people, has been raided and closed, the eThekwini Municipality said on Thursday.

The city was cracking down on landlords who continued to contravene health and safety regulations and building by-laws.

The building, near Joseph Nduli (Russell Street), was closed on Wednesday. It had broken windows, rotting floorboards, and was filled with an unbearable stench.

Senior manager of the Inner City Thekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme, Hoosen Moolla, said it was severely run down and being used for illegal accommodation.

Tenants were packed into small cubicles made from wooden planks and paying rent of between R800 to R1 200 per month.
The building’s owner had been served several contravention notices.

Moolla said the closure was intended as a warning to other unscrupulous landlords who were contravening city regulations.

The city had over 120 buildings it was intending to close. It was tackling the problem, using the recently-gazetted Problem Building By-law, which was intended to help identify, control, and rehabilitate problem buildings.

Should owners fail to comply with orders to make their buildings safe and habitable, the city would seek eviction notices.