Vagrants strip empty government buildings

2017-12-14 14:42
Mayors Walk resident Anesh Lutchman points at the abandoned building on Mayors Walk that has been infiltrated by vagrants. (Nompilo Kunene)

Mayors Walk resident Anesh Lutchman points at the abandoned building on Mayors Walk that has been infiltrated by vagrants. (Nompilo Kunene)

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The vagrancy and vandalism at the abandoned government building on Mayors Walk are “getting worse”, say local residents.

On Thursday last week The Witness reported on the building at 151 Mayors Walk, which had been abandoned and then occupied by vagrants.

There had initially been some confusion about which government department was responsible for the building, but the Department of Public Works has now said it was “allocated” to the Office of the Premier.

Anesh Lutchman, who lives across the road from the building, said the situation has got worse.

“The vagrants are tearing the place apart. They are stripping off all the metal and selling it off to a metal scrapyard.

“They are here at night and during the day, and it seems as if they are slowly starting to run out of things to strip off and sell from inside the building,” he said.

Lutchman had previously said he and neighbours feared that the vagrants might start causing problems in the community.

Lutchman said Msunduzi municipal security had been to the building and chased the vagrants out, but the they slowly returned.

Another local man, Colin Love, said the same thing was happening to buildings in Wigford Road, Masons Mill.

“I can’t believe that nobody is able to confirm ownership of these buildings and simply allow them to be broken down brick by brick,” he said.

After numerous attempts to get comment from the Office of the Premier, spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya referred The Witness to the Public Works Department.

The department’s spokesperson, Mbululo Baloyi, confirmed that the Mayors Walk building belonged to Public Works and that it was allocated to the Premier’s office. Baloyi said he could not comment on the matter and referred The Witness back to the Premier’s Office.

The newly appointed director- general of the Office of the Premier, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, said she was investigating the issue and promised to revert back to The Witness.

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