Old buildings to be demolished

THE derelict buildings behind the ­premier’s office in Henrietta Street are finally to be demolished to make way for additional parking and offices for the premier’s staff.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi told the Executive Committee ­yesterday that this should have been carried out a long time ago.

“We made the legal applications for the demolition of the buildings but while this process was under way, the buildings were invaded by illegal occupants. We had to go to court to evict these occupants. We won the case and can now carry out the demolitions,” Nkosi said.

He said that as all the buildings were older than 60 years, they had to get approval from the heritage body, Amafa, before the demolition took place.

Councillor Judith Lawrence queried whether the double-storey red-brick building on the site could not be preserved, since it was one of a decreasing number of historic red-brick buildings in the city. “Many people have a soft spot for that particular building,” she said,

According to Nkosi, unfortunately it could not be saved, because of the limitations of space on the site.

He said Amafa was on board for the entire process. The affected buildings will be carefully demolished so the material from them can be used in restoration work on other historic buildings in the city, Nkosi said.

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