House haunts council

2017-07-04 06:02
This house in Pickerill Street is an eyesore for residents. The City of Cape Town is taking the owner to court.

This house in Pickerill Street is an eyesore for residents. The City of Cape Town is taking the owner to court.

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Ahouse in Pickerill Street in Steenberg has neighbours worried about their safety.

It was declared a problem building by the City of Cape Town’s problem building unit in 2014. The house is apparently causing headaches for neighbours and they say it is an eyesore.

Ward councillor Marita Petersen says the house is on the City’s priority list of problem buildings.

“I have been struggling with that house for about a year and a half. City officials have been there and they are trying to get the house sold, but the owner wants her house back. We have put a sign up, but every day it is a mess. Vagrants are occupying the house. Scrap people also going there to sort out their things, leaving a trail of mess behind,” she says.

Petersen says neighbours have complained several times. But City officials have to follow a process and that is why it looks like the problem is taking forever to solve.

“It is not easy to just sell or demolish someone’s house. The City has taken the matter to court and we hope that they will be allowed to sell. I work with the police to make sure that no criminal activities happen there.”

Petersen says the owner of the house is being fined every month but still there is no cooperation from her.

“She has been given so many chances to clean up and do everything so that her house is [taken] off the problem building list but she seems to be turning a deaf ear. She has worked so hard to have the house but to lose it just like that is a pity. There is nothing that we can do because we have tried to get her to clean up but still she is not ­compliant.”

People’s Post was unable to reach the owner for comment.

Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), says officials of the problem building unit appointed a contractor to clean the property in June last year and the costs were recovered from the property owner.

“The property cannot be sealed as one of the owner’s relatives still resides on the property. The case has been handed over to the City’s legal department for prosecution in the municipal court. The City has no jurisdiction to apply for an eviction order on private property as a third party.”

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