Johannesburg - Maggots, rats, faeces splashed on windows and an unbearable stench from a hijacked building in Goud Street are infiltrating the spotless classrooms of an inner-city creche.
The creche now faces closure.
The children have been falling ill with vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throats and coughing because of the conditions in the next-door building and, earlier this week, had to be evacuated because of the stench.
Neighbouring property owners are complaining bitterly that the City of Joburg does nothing about it – despite it being a severe health hazard for many neighbouring buildings.
Afhco, which owns a building next door, said staff trying to keep their own building, Textile House, clean are at their wits’ end.
Chief executive Renney Plit said: “We have been involved in a legal battle with this building, called Cape York, which is currently owned by the Bank of Mozambique (essentially the Mozambican government).
“It has been hijacked. This week, the creche in our building was closed by the Department of Education as all the children are vomiting and had severe cramps. This is due to the faeces and garbage that is thrown from Cape York into our building.
In the past week alone, seven windows in Textile House were broken by the hijacker building’s residents throwing things.
“We can’t rent out flats on that side of the building. People stay for a few months and then are driven out by the stench and fear of getting injured by missiles which are constantly being thrown from the neighbours,” he said.
Nozipho Nyanyane, the principal and owner of the school, said:
“I can’t stay open any more. It is too dangerous for the children.”
Shaun O’Shea, of stakeholder management and liaison for Region F, said their legal and special investigations task team had been “engaging with all the stakeholders involved”.
“The city has advised that the next steps will be for the owners, the Bank of Mozambique, to obtain an eviction order through their appointed attorneys,” he said.