Pietermaritzburg’s 50 most dangerous buildings are likely to be demolished before the end of 2019 if Msunduzi Municipality officials have their way.
The buildings, found between Boom, Pine, West and Pietermaritz streets, are part of what has become known as Somaliland because of a high concentration of nationals from the Arab region.
Senior Manager Atkins Khoali said the buildings were identified during one of the inspections and were found to have violated a number of city bylaws. “What we found when we conducted inspections were environmental, health and safety violations, including not having sufficient ventilation. That is why we have taken the decision to demolish them because they are a safety hazard,” said Khoali.
Some of the buildings are suspected to be used for drugs and prostitution and are contributing to urban decay.
The municipality is now waiting for court approval to proceed with demolitions.
Ward 27 councillor Manqoba Ngubo said he would welcome the move, as long as correct rules are followed. “We have instances where you do not need to be sophisticated to see that some of the structures pose a safety risk to people. We have instances where property owners have not been responsible in seeing to it that their properties are well maintained and are safe for use,” said Ngubo. He added that they were hoping that the matter would be concluded soon.