Old East Street beer hall to be closed

2017-11-22 06:01
Msunduzi Municipality Mayor, Themba Njilo at the launch of the clean-up campaign.PHOTO: Makhosandile zulu

Msunduzi Municipality Mayor, Themba Njilo at the launch of the clean-up campaign.PHOTO: Makhosandile zulu

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THE old East Street beer hall, next to the hostel­, is to be closed. This was revealed last Friday at the launch of the Msunduzi Municipality clean-up campaign.

At the campaign launch mayor Themba Njilo said: “As council we have agreed to close the old East Street beer hall next to the hostel in order to extend the taxi rank.”

Acting city manager Dr Ray Ngcobo said the municipality is in talks with the Department of Public Works regarding the demolition of the beer hall because it belongs to the department.

Asked how the municipality would address the increase of vagrancy after the demolition of the beer hall, a likelihood since the same trend occurred after the eMatsheni beer hall was demolished last year, Ngcobo said the municipality has a strategy in place to deal with vagrancy in the CBD.

“We cannot say we will not change the architecture of the city because we are worried about vagrancy, which is an urban phenomenon we will deal with on the side, but we have to open space to allow for new architecture in the city.”

Njilo said failure to enforce the municipality’s by-laws had contributed to vagrants occupying the city.

“There is already a plan in place that deals with the relocation of vagrants in and around the city.

“Some of them have been reunited with their families, others have been placed in temporary shelter while the city looks for a permanent, alternative place that will serve as a rehabilitation centre with fully equipped and trained specialists dealing with people abusing drugs,” Njilo said.

The municipality will also develop an area plan for the CBD, which entails profiling all buildings in this area so that those with absent owners and landlords would be either closed, demolished or taken over by the municipality.

“Most buildings have become brothels, and lanes are places for dodgy business activities, including liquor stores in areas near important city structures like the legislature,” Njilo said.

He said this was a result of the failure to enforce the municipality’s building by-laws.

“These areas have become health hazards and contribute to the increased criminal activities. These buildings are overcrowded and neglected in terms of maintenance.

“Rates are not being paid resulting in the termination of services like garbage collection.

“Bills are not being paid resulting in electricity theft, which puts people’s lives in serious danger.”

He said the municipality has obtained a court order to demolish buildings deemed to be problematic
either because they are illegally occupied or neglected by the owners.

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