Tenders open to revitalise eMatsheni

2017-01-18 06:01
PHOTO: file The historic eMatsheni Beer Hall in the CBD is laden with hawkers.

PHOTO: file The historic eMatsheni Beer Hall in the CBD is laden with hawkers.

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MSUNDUZI Municipality is inviting credible and competent developers to put forward their proposals to revitalise the eMatsheni Beer Hall precinct in the hopes that the area can be redeveloped and the high crime rate decreased.

Over the past few years the eMatsheni Beer Hall precinct has become a haven of crime, filth, drugs and violence making it a hot spot for illegal activities.

While the hawkers, who operate in the area, claim that the municipality has failed to provide them with any type of service delivery for over two decades, the municipality received a report in 2015 from the local SAPS stating that the precinct contributes to about 50% of crimes in the city.

In December last year there was a standoff between the hawkers and business owners at eMatsheni and the SAPS with hawkers vowing to resist all attempts to evict them and shut down the area.

There have been numerous SAPS raids at the beer hall over the past few years with many arrests being made. SAPS confiscated various illegal substances and saw other illegal activities taking place.

Towards the latter part of 2015 there was also a gang face-off at the eMatsheni Beer Hall where over 10 gang members stormed the hall wielding knives, pangas, axes and sticks.

Business owners also claimed that their businesses were suffering because of the “whoonga smokers” and squatters, who find shelter in the hall. Among other crimes taking place there are prostitution and rape which, according to sources, take place openly in that area.

While the SAPS are aware of all these crimes and illegal activities they have said their hands are tied because the property is owned by the municipality.

They also said all they can do in that area is police it and encourage people to report robberies.

Plans have been under way for the shutdown and revitalisation of that precinct for over a year, however, developers now have the opportunity to present their alternate proposals for the eMatsheni Beer Hall precinct.

“The Msunduzi Municipality within the construct of urban planning and city place-making intends to pursue the gentrification and revitalisation of the eMatsheni Beer Hall Precinct, an area situated within the lower down town of the central business district.

“Likewise it is the intention of the municipality to declare the precinct a special business area within the provisions of the Pietermaritzburg Town Planning Scheme and which closely resembles the inherent characteristics of an urban development zone.

“Developers will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the current edition of the Msunduzi Municipality’s Supply Chain Management processes,” stated the municipality in a media release.

Tender documents are currently available from the Supply Chain Management Unit Offices, 5th Floor, A. S. Chetty Centre, 333 Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. A non-refundable tender fee in the amount of R550 (including VAT) per document shall be levied. Only cash or bank- guaranteed cheques will be accepted.

A compulsory tender briefing meeting will be held promptly at 10.30am, on Friday, 20 January in the Committee Room 31st Floor, City Hall, 169 Chief Albert Luthuli Street (Commercial Road), Pietermaritzburg. Only one tender briefing meeting will be held. Note: tenderers arriving at the meeting after the stipulated starting time above will be disqualified.

Sealed tenders endorsed on the envelope with ‘Contract for Revitalisation of the eMatsheni Beer Hall Precinct Project’ must be placed in the Tender Box, located in the Foyer, Ground Floor, City Hall, 169 Chief Albert Luthuli Street (Commercial Road), Pietermaritzburg, not later than 12pm on Monday, 6 February, when they will be publicly opened. Only tenders placed in the tender box will be accepted.

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