Pump station to be demolished

Residents say they are worried about the safety of their children as the building is crumbling.

Kuils River residents say that an abandoned City-owned building at the Marais Street Park is an “accident waiting to happen”.

The building used to house a water pump station.

Silver Oaks resident, Johan Joubert who has been living in the community for nearly 50 years, said the building is part of his childhood memories, however, for the past seven months he has tried tirelessly to have it demolished. He said the lives of children and vagrants – who use the space for shelter – are at risk.

“The walls and bricks cave in daily. With the rainy season already upon us, this area will become more dangerous. I dread the day one of our children use the park, bricks fall on them and they get hurt, parents will then sue the City of Cape Town for neglect,” said Mr Joubert.

He said Ward 11 councillor Desiree Visagie had told him that no tender for having the building demolished was on the table and a tender for fencing would cost nearly R1 million, which could not be financed from her ward allocation. “There is no urgency for a temporary solution to safeguard this disaster that might happen sooner,” he said.

Mr Joubert said instead of “moaning and groaning” about the lack of service delivery, he asked a steel gate manufacturer from the community for a quote to install a fence at the park, which would cost R400 000 and for a fence around the building, R48 000.

“Their (City of Cape Town) quote is abnormally high,” he said.

He said he and other residents expect the City or the councillor to keep the community up to date with the way forward, whether the park will be fenced or the building demolished.

Giellie Herold said his son enjoyed playing cricket in the park, but since the building has started crumbling he is concerned for his son’s safety.

“The building is about to fall down any second, while children, vagrants and bad elements hang out there. Something must be done,” he said.

The proposed removal of the building received a lot of support on social media with residents concerned about the devaluation of their nearby properties.

Ms Visagie confirmed that her ward allocation would not be able to put a fence around the grounds of the park.

“The building will be demolished, this will be discussed with the community this week,” she said.

Regarding the vagrants using the building for shelter, she said: “On two occasions I accompanied law enforcement to the park to remove the vagrants but they come back,” she said.

Acting mayoral committee member for water and waste, JP Smith, said the City is in the process of appointing a contractor to demolish the decommissioned water pump station in coming weeks.