Solution in sight for derelict Villas

A lease may be the answer to preventing antisocial behaviour at Rocklands Villas in Sea Point.

The lease of the road in front of the derelict building has been approved, and should see the area closed off.

Rocklands Villas consists of 12 semi-detached houses off Rocklands Road. The buildings are on a large property owned by the SABC, which also includes the broadcaster’s studios, garages and parking space.

In 2009, the SABC was ordered to repair, clean and repaint Rocklands Villas within two months. It was also ordered to secure the premises and place a security guard and dog on site. It complied with the court order, but the property has remained unoccupied (“Rocklands Villas’ downward spiral”, People’s Post, 10 September 2013).

Antisocial behaviour is a common problem, says Heather Tager, chairperson of the Sea Point Community Policing Forum.

Inspections have been done at the property since 2008 with ongoing issues including vagrancy, graffiti, rowdiness, fighting, drunkenness and alleged drug deals. Numerous operations have been carried out, Tager says, but there have still been “endless complaints over the property”.

However, now the City of Cape Town has approved the lease of the cul-de-sac in front of the complex to a neighbouring property, which may see the street closed off.

Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management, confirms the abutting land owner applied to lease the property. “It will be used for parking and security at a market-related rental. The benefits are primarily for the lessee for parking and security. The City will also be relieved of a maintenance burden,” he says.

The lease will come into effect as soon as a signed copy of it is returned to the City.

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