Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said court applications were under way for permission to demolish more buildings like those.
He said some of these buildings were abandoned by owners, ending up being used as drug dens, brothels and homes for vagrants; and impacting people who lived in nearby buildings.
“This is an aggressive approach by the city in dealing with these buildings. We are saying enough is enough. Owners of bad buildings must either take on their responsibilities or risk losing their property,” he said.
He said the move was part of the city’s plans to rejuvenate the inner city and added that the municipality was committed to working with the private sector in eradicating bad buildings for commercial use, student accommodation and social housing.
Part of this rejuvenation Mayisela referred to included the Rivertown Development Precinct which city manager Sipho Nzuza was expected to visit today.
Last year, the city announced that it would be taking control of three dilapidated buildings in the city as part of this regeneration - West Point Lodge on Margaret Mncadi Avenue (Victoria Embankment), the Palm Beach Hotel on Gillespie Street and the Durban Seamen’s Institute on Mahatma Gandhi (Point) Road.
The city planned to spend about R5million to revitalise the buildings and then sell them and use the proceeds for social housing units “at strategic locations”.