New nightclub hits snags

2009-09-25 00:00

REVELLERS starved for night-time entertainment may soon be catered for if the Msunduzi Municipality gives the green light for the establishment of a nightclub at Camps Drift.

Questions were raised, however, by members of the corporate strategic planning (CSP) committee after an on-site inspection revealed certain shortcomings.

ANC councillor and CSP chairman Themba Zungu said it is worrisome that there is no safety exit in the event of a disaster that would necessitate emergency evacuation.

“This is the first nightclub I have seen that doesn’t have an escape route. We’ve all seen how full clubs can get and if there’s a fire and people can’t escape they will die,” said Zungu.

He said he cannot understand how a club catering for 200 people can have only three toilets for each of the sexes.

Applicant Rashi Ramprasad said he will add extra toilets and an emergency exit.

ANC councillor Sibongile Mkhize asked what would happen if a fire broke out as there are no sprinklers or fire extinguishers at the site.

“From previous experience in other cities, this has been a problem,” she said.

Ramprasad said he will ensure that easily accessible fire extinguishers as well as a fire hose are placed at strategic points around the club. In lieu of safety exits, Ramprasad said he would put an extra door at the front of the club, and there is a glass front that could also be used too as a safety exit in case of an emergency.

ANC councillor Mergan Chetty also suggested that the roller doors could be used to evacuate people.

Planning services manager Atwell Khoali said a report about the issue of safety regulations was compiled and submitted to the fire and health departments, but Mkhize was not convinced.

“Did you go with them?” Mkhize asked Khoali, but no response was given.

Zungu was also sceptical, saying: “People submit reports without checking whether things are the way they seem. We then go on site inspections and we find that it’s not like in the report.”

He said the council is not against providing entertainment in the city, but it has to be careful.

“So many clubs have closed down. The fact that this club is next to a river means we have to be very cautious,” he said.

Ramprasad said security personnel on site will monitor security cameras inside and outside the club.

Councillors agreed to approve the establishment provided extra toilets, security and safety measures were seen to.


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