No green light for landmark

2018-06-12 06:00
Residents believe the signal room at Muizenberg Station can be turned into something beautiful and useful for the community.

Residents believe the signal room at Muizenberg Station can be turned into something beautiful and useful for the community.

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The signal room at Muizenberg is a cause for concern and has become an eyesore over the years.

Since the building has not been in use for several years, residents have made suggestions as to what the room can be used for, but with little response from the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa), to which the signal room belongs. Over the years the room has been stripped of every useful item and left in a state of deterioration, leading to residents raising their concern.

Chris Taylor, director of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society (MHCS), says the signal room (box) first came to their attention in 2013. “When Muizenberg Railway Station was being renovated and it appeared the signal box was scheduled to be demolished, we intervened at that point and asked Prasa to at least leave it standing, as with the automation of railway signalling there are very few signal boxes left. This one still has the mechanical levers in place to work the signals and points. The contractors had no budget or instructions to renovate it. At that stage the signal box was complete although in dire need of repair,” he says.

The MHCS then set about looking for potential tenants prepared to renovate the signal room and lease it for suitable commercial purposes. “Suggestions that came in were for a surfboard shop, a beach shop, a kite shop and a coffee shop. Of these the best proposal was for the coffee shop, and the proposal came complete with an architect’s sketch and an undertaking to spend up to R250 000 repairing and converting the little building.

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