Schubart Park demolition on the cards

2011-12-05 22:26
Pretoria -The ill-fated Schubart Park complex in Pretoria's city centre might have to be demolished, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria was told on Monday.

Counsel for the Tshwane municipality told the court an engineering report about the buildings would be finalised only next week, but it looked at this stage as if the buildings were going to be condemned.

Judge Bill Prinsloo dismissed an application for leave to appeal which would have seen residents being able to move back into the flats.

The residents launched an urgent application in September after being evacuated from the flats, but Prinsloo ruled that this would endanger their lives.

The court order made provision for residents receiving alternative housing, but many complained that they did not qualify for such housing.

Residents complained that they had been illegally evicted and that the municipality had violated their constitutional rights by ignoring proper eviction procedures.

Prinsloo said it was clear from reading the evidence that experts were of the opinion that the Schubart Park complex was not fit for human habitation and that to allow occupants to stay there would endanger their lives.

The evidence suggested all four blocks in the complex were the same, with no running water or electricity, flooding in the basements and a possibility of the buildings collapsing.

The judge said he was not persuaded that another court would find that he had erred in his judgment and it was unlikely that his order would be overturned.

He said that by the time the matter landed up in the appeal court in a year or two, events would have already overtaken the legal process.

He said if residents were not satisfied with the resettlement process, they could return to court to force authorities to comply with the previous court order.

- SAPA
Read more on:    housing
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