Tenant holds up upgrade

2015-06-16 06:01
The Marble Flats in Ottery are currently undergoing upgrades but residents from Grasryk and Astra Courts have hampered progress at their flats by refusing to move. The picture is an illustration.  

Chevon Booysen

The Marble Flats in Ottery are currently undergoing upgrades but residents from Grasryk and Astra Courts have hampered progress at their flats by refusing to move. The picture is an illustration. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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A resident living in Astra Court is now further hindering the progress of upgrades in the Marble Flats buildings in Ottery.

People’s Post previously reported that some tenants refused to move from their Grasryk Court homes, citing gang violence (“Tenants refuse to have upgrades done”, 19 May).

Ward councillor Melanie Arendse now says this reason for refusing to move is no longer valid as “there is peace in the area”.

Arendse adds that a resident of Astra Court refuses to move to the temporary relocation area and has instead asked that a raw container be pitched near her home.

“Unfortunately, this cannot be done, as it would be inhumane for a person to live like that. Residents have the right to decent housing and the City will not have her live like that,” Arendse says.

According to Arendse other options were negotiated between the tenant and the City.

“The tenant wanted to live in the raw container during the day and return to her home at night when the contractors were done working. This was denied as the site is a construction site and nobody can live on a construction site while work goes ahead,” she says.

Benedicta van Minnen, mayoral committee member for human settlements, says free accommodation is offered to tenants while their homes are renovated by the City.

“Free accommodation, including free services and 24-hour armed security, is offered to residents in the temporary accommodation village. Alternatively, they may move in with friends or family, or any other accommodation of their choice,” Van Minnen explains.

According to her, tenants of Astra Court were set to move on Wednesday last week, but instead tenants of Murray Court moved to the temporary relocation area, Van Minnen confirms.

“There was an unwilling tenant, so this block had to be rescheduled. It is the City’s intention to upgrade Astra Court as soon as everybody is prepared to move.”

Van Minnen confirms the City will “not allow tenants to live in undignified con­ditions in the middle of winter”.

Asked what would happen if tenants refused to move, Van Minnen says the City “can and will pursue legal action if deemed necessary”.

Eight courts still need to be upgraded at the Marble Flats in Ottery.

Van Minnen confirms the delay in the upgrades does have a cost implication for the City, but the exact cost is yet to be determined.


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