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Residents of Boskop, Blesbok flats upset about deteriorating buildings, no maintenance

A resident stands in front of Blesbok flats where there are numerous problems with the infrastructure. Picture: James Mahlokwane

A resident stands in front of Blesbok flats where there are numerous problems with the infrastructure. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Published Mar 7, 2022


Pretoria - The City of Tshwane abandoned its people the day it abandoned its responsibility to maintain its flats in Arcadia.

This was the claim made by frustrated residents of Boskop and Blesbok flats yesterday as they took the Pretoria News on a tour of their deteriorating buildings.

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Most of the residents have been living at the flats for a very long time but they have watched the buildings go from being some of the most attractive flats in Arcadia to the eyesore they have become.

From the moment a person walks into the premises, you are greeted by puddles and water leaking from pipes on the walls and a stench.

Electricity has become a threat to their lives because wires get wet. Some apartments do not use electricity anymore because water leaking from the roof to the ceiling and electrical appliances caused explosions.

The post boxes in ruin at the flats. Picture: James Mahlokwane

With many of the pipes between the walks also leaking, the bricks have begun decaying and losing colour. The lifts do not work because of electricity problems. This resulted in the buttons and wires being stolen.

Hansie Pretorius said the buildings were in stellar condition in 2005. In 2010 they were renovated but there was no replacement of worn out wires and pipes.

"After that period, I do not know what went wrong, the City stopped maintenance of flats and bit by bit they became unsafe. We have been reporting the problems to the City but nothing is done to assist us.

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"Some people just went ahead and quit paying rent because what is it that they need to pay for here? The lights do not work. This place is so dark at night.

"The City keeps encouraging people to save water but there is clean water leaking from pipes in this flat and hitting the ground and flowing into the road. This has been going on for over a year now. That will also cause potholes."

A wheelchair bound 71-year-old woman who asked not to be named said she was even ashamed for her family members to know she was living like this.

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"I stopped paying rent many years ago because there was nobody fixing things. I have been living here for at least 20 years and it was never like this. We want somebody to do something. We are people too," said the elderly woman.

The tenants said during the recent election, ANC and EFF campaigners came to their flats and promised to end this problem should they be voted into power by the people. They have however, also asked for help from the DA because they need assistance from anybody.

They said some of the floors in Blesbok have not had electricity since last week because of an explosion that was caused by water leaking on to electricity lines.

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Francois Harding said: "We are tired of living likec this. This is basically a death trap and it seems like nothing is going to be done until somebody dies from an electric shock or plunging through a wet roof“.

Pretoria News