Nelson Street ‘problem’ persists

Guest speaker Busisiwe Mathonsi.

The Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association is still battling to close the door on a derelict house that has caused a heap of headaches for the community.

The ongoing saga of 103 Nelson Street, was again the subject of a lively debate at the association’s meeting on Thursday March 30 (“Derelict house a health and safety hazard”, Northern News, June 29, 2016).

The dilapidated property, which attracts unwelcome characters, has plagued residents for years.

Mark Raciet, who lives close to the house, raised the issue, saying he wanted to know when it would be laid to rest.

The City of Cape Town finally declared the house a problem building in June last year after council first issued a notice of its intention to do that in 2012.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, ward councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said pressure was mounting on the owner, who had said the house would be auctioned.

Ms Van Rensburg said the law was “running its course” and law enforcement had to go to the house daily to check it was empty. But she conceded that problems associated with 103 Nelson Street had spilled over into a bigger area, and “trolley people are congregating opposite the property”.

But resident Dave Beelders would have none of it.

“We’re being led by the nose,” he complained. “The house has never been secured from day one. In the meantime, it is degenerating the surrounding area.”

Another resident said the property should have been auctioned in February, but the owner had taken it off the auctioneer’s schedule.

On the City’s valuation roll, the owner is listed as Integral Effectance Corporation, whose number went unanswered.

* Other issues discussed at the meeting included poor workmanship by City contractors, such as those removing trees damaging Goodwood’s pavement.

Treasurer Neville Hitchcock said the City “should come to its senses” and scrutinise the work, sign it off and then pay contractors.

Another resident referred to paving lifted four months ago to deal with the trees, but deep holes had been left open.

“Where are the supervisors? They leave it and that’s it,” he said.

* Also at the meeting, Wiener Street residents raised the issue of the City’s plans to sell several plots of public land. (“City alienates residents in land sale plan”, Northern News, March 29).

Salie Behardien said the matter was urgent as the auction date of Wednesday April 19 was approaching.

He spoke about densification, asking council to “fill the gaps” on smaller spaces.

“We are surrounded by six blocks of flats,” he said.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said the revised proposal by the City was for the sale of six plots, instead of the original 21, because it had listened to residents’ concerns.

The association’s chairman, Brian Lawson, said he would speak to the relevant City official to get more information.

* The association will meet again at the sub-council building, in Molteno Street, on Tuesday May 2, at 7pm. Call Jacques van Zyl at 061 721 1223 for details.