Category Residential Property News

Can you hear the sound of sick buildings in the Inner City and Mahatma Ghandi precincts, being demolished? It's true - they're falling fast, and that's GREAT news for Durbanites, investors and property owners

There are two things happening in the Inner City and Mahatma Ghandi precinct, and they spell the start of something good! No more talk, it's all action! Derelict buildings are either being demolished or repurposed, and the criminal element which has taken root in so many of these blocks, is being evicted by the City.

It's what everybody's been waiting for.

eThekwini Municipality has started demolishing several derelict buildings in the inner city and South Beach areas, as part of their long talked about rejuvenation and upgrade project - they've put over a billion rand into this, clear acknowledgement of how crucial it is to residents, tourists, investors and other projects which are dependent on safe, clean neighbouring surrounds.

Questions around 'Why's it taken so long?' lead mainly to the various property owners who 'have not come on board', say the municipality. "There are lots of property owners we can't find, so the buildings become more derelict. The crime and grime increases," says eThekwini councillor Fawzia Peer.  

But time is up for property owners who've chosen to ignore the authorities. 

The municipality is intervening as far as possible with private owners - including through the courts - to turn the buildings around," said Daniels Pentasaib, city manager in the building inspectorate unit. He said six buildings would be totally flattened and new residential blocks - including student residences - would be constructed.

Bad buildings are falling right now, and it's good news.

"In the Mahatma Gandhi precinct, there are 36 buildings that need to be remedied. In the inner city, we have 80, and we are working towards getting those buildings rectified as well," said Pentasaib.

The city has also begun work on the multibillion-rand Rivertown Development Precinct, which lies on the east of Durban CBD between the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) and Durban beachfront. Rivertown Precinct project manager Themba Masimula said the beachfront was considered a 'platinum' area, but there was a link missing between the ICC and the beachfront. Rivertown will bridge that gap.

"This project has the potential to link the western part of the city with the beachfront. As people traverse the area from the ICC towards the beach, they must feel safe and free to walk," he said.

Rivertown plans include making the canal that runs along John Milne Street a key feature of the precinct, giving rise to the name Rivertown. The City's vision is to regenerate the area with a mix of creative and commercial ventures such as private galleries, small theatres, restaurants and other entertainment venues, forging a cultural precinct that would offer local and international tourists a unique Durban, and KZN, experience.

John Milne Street is expected to be paved and closed to traffic, to create a 'walkable' space that would host traders in an open market type setting.

It's been a long time coming, but the sight and sound of sick buildings in these areas being demolished, is joy to all ears! For investors and property owners in the South Beach, Mahatma Ghandi, and inner city precincts, now know that their concerns around safety and security.

The time for talk is over. It's all about action.

Author: Anne Schauffer

Submitted 26 Sep 19 / Views 918

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