Wrecking ball to fall on ruined Goodwood houses

This is what 68 Milton Road looked like in November last year before it was burnt.

The wrecking ball is soon to swing against two blights on the Goodwood neighbourhood.

Heritage Western Cape (HWC) has granted a demolition permit for houses at 68 and 70 Milton Road. Their fate lay in the hands of the HWC because they are more than 60 years old.

Located across from the Goodwood Sports Ground, the houses are part of the estate of the late Gerhardus Malherbe, who died on August 8 2018. Both were sold to the Rawoots Family Investment Trust, with transfer taking place in November 2019.

The buyer intends demolishing both houses, consolidating the properties and then building flats, according to the executor of the estate, Andre van Rhyn.

HWC CEO Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka said properties older than 60 years couldn’t be altered without permission from the heritage body. “Is there heritage value in the properties? If none, they will let the City of Cape Town know and they can be demolished,” he said.

The City’s executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said the properties were listed with the problem building unit but had not yet been declared as such. The case was generated in August 2019.

One year ago, Faizel Petersen, the chairman of Goodwood Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, red-flagged the “despicable” condition of the properties. They had been plundered of everything, from geysers and window frames to doors, flooring and wiring https://www.northernnews.co.za/news/mess-on-milton-road-37629140.

Then, in January, neighbours watched 68 Milton Road burn as fire services dowsed flames https://www.northernnews.co.za/news/mystery-house-fires-42133146. A neighbour said no sooner had the fire services left than people moved onto the site.

After the blaze Nur Rawoot committed to secure, clear and clean the property. 

Last week (Thursday May 27), Mr Rawoot said he planned to fence the property once the houses had been demolished. He hadn’t put up the fencing yet, he said, because he feared it would be stolen. He said he hoped the City would pass his application for the demolition order under the level 3 lockdown.

Ward councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said Mr Rawoot had been served with a notice in mid-February to fence the property, but he had not done so. Building inspectors and enforcement officials had been unable to follow up on the case because of the Covid-19 crisis, she added.

Mr Petersen said little had changed at the problem properties despite numerous requests for law enforcement to act. He said the problem building unit and law enforcement were essential services and could penalise the owner. 

Goodwood Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman Leona van Wyk said residents feared rubbish dumped on the property by vagrants could attract rats.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said the City had to follow specific steps when dealing with problem premises.

Northern News left a phone message and email for Mr Rawoot asking when demolition would take place, but he did not respond by the time this story went online.