City of Cape Town's 'insensitive' eviction notice angers Athlone Stadium tenants
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Cape Town – The Cape Music Institute (CMI) said the R90 000 drywalling which created a space conducive for training faced being demolished by the City today – a move that has left many up in arms.
The music school provides a platform, though not exclusively, for previously disadvantaged individuals’ access to a formalised programme for music education.
The programme developed by the school incorporates theoretical and practical education regarding all the various facets of the music industry, both nationally and internationally.
The music school is among the tenants at Athlone Stadium - including the South African Football Association Cape Town, Social Development, the Athlone Dance Academy and some small businesses in the east wing of the stadium - facing eviction from the facility.
They were said to be non-compliant and given two months' notice to move from the premises or be provided with alternative accommodation.
CMI director and co-founder Camillo Lombard told the Cape Times that they cannot accept a vacant clinic in Mfuleni offered by the City as it was out of their current demographic.
“The City was insensitive by issuing us with a two-month eviction, knowing that we have 80 students and 10 staff members.
“After the eviction notice, I responded in writing to ask for a four-month grace period to give us enough time to find alternative space for music training and development.
“I cannot move my music school to Mfuleni for various reasons that would negatively impact our current learners. I also indicated that I would be interested in the space at Mfuleni for a satellite music school to cater for learners from surrounding demographics including Blue Downs, Khayelitsha and Eersterivier."
Lombard added that the CMI was in the sixth year of a 10-year lease agreement and had never received any complaint of non-compliance.
Lombard had written to Mayor Dan Plato on Thursday in an attempt to stop the eviction, and the property manager then came up with a solution to have all the tenants remain in the premises but have a demolisher come today and demolish all the drywalling that they had built. The City did not respond to questions before publiction.
However, Economic Opportunities and Asset Management Mayco member James Vos had said: “The misinformation regarding the Athlone Stadium smacks of political opportunism. The Athlone Stadium, like any other such facility, has to comply with national legislation in terms of the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (Sasrea) No 2 of 2010.
“The Sasrea was promulgated essentially to provide for measures to safeguard the physical wellbeing and safety of persons and property at various events held at stadiums. The facility obtained its grading certificate on October 31, 2018. During this process, various non-compliance issues were brought to the City’s attention.”
Vos said that in order to remedy these irregularities, all non-operational stadium occupants would need to move their operations from the premises.