Cape Town Hawks still working in unsafe, cockroach-infested offices

2016-12-01 17:04
The Hawks offices in Bellville. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

The Hawks offices in Bellville. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape Hawks will probably have to work in squalor for quite some time - even though the health department has declared the building from which they operate unsafe.

At least 250 members of the Hawks, the police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, work there.

Netwerk24 reported about the office block in AJ West Street, in Bellville, which was evaluated by Cape Town inspectors for a second time on November 10.

In terms of the national building regulations and local fire safety ordinance, they found more than 20 violations.

They found that there wasn’t an approved security system, emergency exits were blocked, there weren’t directions to where emergency exits were, and the building lacked the necessary firefighting equipment.   

According to the report, other problems included broken floor tiles, poor water supply to urinals and signs of a cockroach infestation.

Outside the building, there is an accumulation of garbage. The grass is tall and weeds flourish.

The health department gave the department of public works until December 23 to sort out the problems.  

In was reported in August that health officials had previously inspected the building.

It was classified as unsafe and the Hawks were prohibited from going inside.

Now, four months down the line, apparently nothing has been done to solve the problems. 

The building belongs to the department of public works, which is also responsible for its upkeep.

Thami Mchunu, the department’s national spokesperson, said that they had submitted an application for financing to the police and were still waiting for approval. 

He said they could only start doing maintenance once they received the money. 

Hawks’ national spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed in August that new premises had been approved for the Hawks, but that he didn’t know how long it would be before they moved there. 

He later said it was no longer a matter for the Hawks to deal with and that it was in the hands of the police. 

However, Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said that the SAPS had nothing to do with the process and that it was the responsibility of the Hawks. 

Read more on:    public works department  |  hawks  |  cape town

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