Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has for the first time taken drastic action against recalcitrant landlords across the City who have allowed their properties to turn into a state of despair.
While the City is till waiting for the new problem buildings by-law to go for Council adoption before the end of the month, we have in the meantime taken a proactive approach by establishing a special committee which is dealing with issues of problematic buildings in the Mandela Bay.
As such, recently, the Municipality categorised 40 problem buildings in Ward 1 and 5. according to their needs analysis. And this has primarily been done to send an ambiguous action against rogue landlords who are failing to cooperate with the City.
Of the 40 identified properties, only 4 matters have been resolved through the Municipality’s intervention. A total of 11 cases are still pending investigation while there are 15 matter in abeyance.
We are guided by all applicable legislation in dealing with the matter and have thus issued notices to all owners to either tidy up their properties or demolish them.
Consequently, we have appointed 5 firms of attorneys to assist us in the dealing with all problematic property owners who for years have ignored notices from the Municipality.
To date, 9 property owners have been taken to court and litigation is proceeding against them as they have failed to attend to our notices.
We also have the full support of the Provincial Resources Heritage Authority (PHRA) and the Nelson Mandela Bay Heritage Trust who have both commended our decisive action. The action against the targeted landlords is designed to ensure that all areas where there are problem buildings, the City deals harshly with those implicated to help restore dignity and aesthetic value of the area. But more importantly, this is also done to rid the affected communities of habitual criminal behaviour which occurs as a result of these abandoned buildings.
In our quest to address the challenge of problem buildings, we have also given a notice to Transnet to start fixing its derelict buildings in the South End area which have become an eyesore. Our notices have been issued to the Department of Education to start tidying up, securing and or demolishing many of their school builds that lay unoccupied across the Metro.
We have also written to them, as a solution, to hand them over to the Metro so that they can be used as youth centres or for any community development initiatives. Any building that is not tenant ultimately becomes a hub for criminal activities and this is what the Metro is fighting against.
The @NMBmunicipality has established a problem buildings committee, which has had excellent results. 3 problem buildings have already been demolished, 2 more to follow soon. 9 landlords are being taken to court for non-compliance. #WellRunCity ?? pic.twitter.com/xAwgASqMM6
— Athol Trollip (@AtholT) August 2, 2018