Buildings in ruins

2011-02-09 00:00

DILAPIDATED buildings in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street that have been neglected or vandalised have raised concerns among the business community in the area because they are being invaded by vagrants and criminals.

The former Msunduzi Housing Association (MHA) office near the premier’s office, which has been vacant for more than two years, has been taken over by vagrants.

The Boys’ Model School near St Anne’s Hospital has been vacant for several years and has been vandalised and neglected.

The school was to have been converted by the Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute (Midi) into a one-stop trauma centre for children and the MHA offices were to be demolished to make way for the premier’s office parking area.

Business people operating there say the buildings are an eyesore and have allowed criminals to invade the area.

They said the MHA has been stripped bare and taken over by the homeless.

“I recently had a confrontation with these people because of the things they do here,” said a source.

He said the boys living in the MHA house have a habit of following people with drawn knives.

He also claimed that he has seen some women in the area engaging in what “looked like soliciting”.

“I cannot be certain whether there have been any men who have gone in there and bought sex, but I have seen women engage in what looked like soliciting.”

Ndabe Sibiya, spokesperson for the premier, said the premier’s office had expressed an interest in acquiring the property but nothing had come of it.

Msunduzi councillor Patrick Moon said he had not been made aware that the MHA offices had become derelict.

As far as knew, he said, the area has been designated as a parking lot for the premier’s office.

Midi director Francois du Toit said, “We were looking at turning that building into a place where children’s voices could be heard, but the building is in a bad state and the board was seriously considering not taking it on a lease as it would be very expensive to repair it.”

A local resident, Roy Geyser, urged the organisations responsible for the school to restore it, saying it is an integral part of the city’s history that should be properly looked after.

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