Business to drive vandals away

2016-02-09 06:00
Construction at and cleaning of a derelict building at the Lansdowne station, where a new car wash will be built, was underway last week.

Construction at and cleaning of a derelict building at the Lansdowne station, where a new car wash will be built, was underway last week.

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Less than a month after complaints about a derelict building at the Lansdowne train station, things are starting to look better.

As reported in People’s Post previously, two buildings at the station attract unsavoury elements to the station. But there are new developments which will see at least one of the spaces being used constructively (“Station has issues”, 26 January).

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) confirms it received an application for the lease of a building and yard space at Lansdowne station for use as storage, a workshop and car wash service in November last year.

Henry Masimla of Prasa says the application was processed and the property leased to the tenant from Monday last week.

Attempts to get comment from Metrorail or Prasa after an official walkabout at the station on Wednesday 20 January have been unsuccessful, but Prasa says the tenant followed the correct procedure to lease the property.

Masimla says this procedure included, amongst others, completing an application form, providing certain documentation supporting the application, a credit worthiness assessment, an affordability assessment and documentation about previous business experience.

Masimla says during the “lengthy” time the building was left vacant, it was subjected to vandalism.

“Unsavoury elements from time to time gathered at the building, which led to numerous complaints from the local community. The condition of the building, coupled with the complaints and concerns of the local community, were a consideration in approving the application, with the view being that formalised activity on the site will help to curb the further vandalising of the building and the nuisance it creates for the local community,” he says.

Masimla adds: “The property is leased voetstoots and it is a condition of lease that the lessee shall comply with all laws, bylaws and regulations affecting the conduct of any business carried out on the leased premises.”

The tenant currently has another business in the Lansdowne area as well and this was considered during his application, Masimla says.

“The tenant is operating a similar business to what he is busy establishing on Prasa property and we are confident that the new business will add value to the community and station area.”

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