Maitland slumlord forced to fix up property

Overcrowded house under renovation following GroundUp investigation

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Photo of room
A room in the dilapidated property in Maitland. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

The Maitland house crammed with 52 immigrants who shared one toilet is under renovation, following action taken by the City of Cape Town.

Some tenants were paying R880 a month for a bunk bed in a small room shared with three other people, with a leaking roof and an outside toilet.

Responding to GroundUp queries, City officials visited the property on 11 December and served the owner with a notice to comply with environmental health by-laws. A follow-up inspection was conducted on 11 January, Mayoral Committee Member for Area North, Councillor Suzette Little said.

“Inspection revealed that the owner had partially complied with the notice. The overcrowding issue has been resolved and there are currently five remaining tenants in the building. The owner however requested an extension until 31 January 2018 in order to fix the structural shortcomings, namely the missing ceiling boards and the inadequate ventilation. The extension was granted and will be followed-up after the due date. No further health nuisances were reported.”

When GroundUp visited the property on Thursday most of the rooms were vacant. One of the occupiers who did not want to be named said the property owner had started renovations and would get new tenants, though the old tenants had indicated that they would like to return.

She said though she felt sorry that some of the tenants had lost their accommodation, she was relieved that the tenants’ high water and electricity bill had been lowered. She said some of the tenants were backpackers from Zimbabwe who came and went.

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TOPICS:  Housing

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