Tenants of the popular 320 building on Dr Pixley Ka Seme (West Street) protested against the building's management on Thursday morning alleging that building is in a run-down state, the toilets are filthy, the lifts don't work and the water in the taps is brown. Picture Nosipho Nyide
Durban - Tenants of the popular 320 building on Dr Pixley Ka Seme (West Street) protested against the building's management on Thursday morning. 

Lucky Hadede owner of the Centre of Business coaching said since Urban Lime took over the management of the building things had gone downhill. 

“The lifts have been broken for years and all they tell us is that it’ll be fixed but nothing ever happens,” he said while addressing other protestors.

He said that the toilets in the building are in a bad state claiming that was the reason why customers were taking their business elsewhere. 

“We are losing business because of the state this building is in and even some offices have even closed,” he said.

Marlene Pillay,  who runs Revolution Finance said she was fed up with the state of the building. 

“All we do is pay rent, even when we have complaints as tenants we can’t get a hold of anyone [at building management]” she said 

Bheki Mchunu of Asakhe Estate said the water in the building was contaminated to which the crowd applauded. 

He alleged that the tap water is brown in colour. 

“We are tired, enough is enough” Mchunu added. 

Video: Nosipho Nyide
The more than 60 protestors made their way to the offices of the building management demanding that their concerns be addressed. 

Outside the locked building Hadebe said the building management couldn’t even stand the conditions of the building themselves so they moved to a different one. 

“Their offices are shiny and pretty and they have locked themselves in there, but we must work in the filthy 320 building, is that fair?” asked Hadebe.

Nad Shahid, Managing Director of  Urban Lime in a statement to the Daily News said they understood the frustrations of the tenants and were working to address all the issues raised.

“Urban Lime Management provide property management services to the building 320 Pixley which is owned by landlord Intrepid Heights (Pty) Ltd which is co-owned with Johannesburg based property developers Propertuity who have recently withdrawn from the Durban market which has resulted in delays to the refurbishment of 320 Pixley.

“Contractors Otis regularly service and repair the current lifts and were in fact on-site today when their technicians were prevented from doing their work. We would hope to have Otis back on site this afternoon,” Shahid said.

Shahid said the lifts at 320 Pixley were all being replaced at a cost of around R12m.

“Orders were placed in November 2017 and a six month replacement program with the first new lifts fitted and operational from the end of June 2018.

Our buildings all conform to health and safety standards, and electricity is recharged on usage, on a tenant by tenant usage basis at industry standard.  However, Urban Lime Management will be further assessing cleaning services for the bathrooms as a result of today’s meeting.

“Urban Lime Properties have a strong, proven track record of commercial property urban regeneration and sensitive restoration of iconic buildings.  The current situation with 320 Pixley is frustrating, but will be resolved and we look forward to restoring this iconic Durban building to its former glory”.

Daily News