Parking lot is a riot of by-law contraventions

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ST TaxiRank528 INLSA PLACE OF FILTH: The derelict parking lot at corner of Harrison and De Villiers streets has become home to vagabonds, who are contravening many city by-laws. Pictures: Dumisani Sibeko

A DERELICT parking lot, owned by the City of Joburg, and situated at the gateway to the city, is in contravention of almost every city by-law.

The parking building, on the corner of Harrison and De Villiers streets, near the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, is causing problems for occupants of neighbouring buildings as well as pedestrians because of the filth and rubbish.

People also urinate from the building into the street in full view of passers-by.

The building is owned by the City of Joburg’s transportation unit, but is occupied by people who light open fires, bring in raw meat to cook and dump their rubbish.

A section of it is used by long-distance taxis.

Marius Redelinghuys, the DA’s director of communications, said the problem was so bad that it was reported to the Gauteng legislature.

“We made a visit there and were shocked at the conditions. The building is filthy and it is shocking. It is at the entrance to the city and close to the home affairs offices and food establishments.

‘‘It is a council-owned building and it is deplorable that it has allowed it to be invaded and to deteriorate to such an extent,” he said.

Neighbouring tenants had also complained.

“It is a disgrace that the council is allowing one of its building to decline into such a shocking state and is not enforcing its own by-laws. What example is this setting?” he asked.

In response to the DA’s questions in the legislature, Gauteng Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said the building underwent a safety and structural competency assessment a year ago, as well as a health and environmental safety assessment about six months ago.

She said the building would be demolished and the land incorporated into plans for a commercial development.

Mekgwe said by-laws would be enforced by the metro police.

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