‘Neglected’ building causes concern

An old building on the border of Pinelands and Maitland near Sunrise Circle is slowly becoming a concern for passersby as it is now reportedly occupied by vagrants­.

The building, located close to Pinelands Police Station at the old Bob Cox sports field, has reportedly been neglected.

Nicholas Nkomo says he has been using the route since last year and is uncomfortable with the building as “it looks like something illegal is taking place inside it”.

Nkomo says he wished the authorities could consider renovating the building and allocating office space, or completely demolishing it to prevent the escalation of suspicious activities.

According to local councillor Brian Watkyns, the property is owned by another sphere of government.

Watkyns says plans were passed a few years ago to build new provincial police headquarters.

“The City of Cape Town has very limited jurisdiction over the property although I have been on site with Law Enforcement to attend to complaints. I have previously written to the Province to demolish the building and in addition took the problem building inspector on an on-site visit for advice. I am once again approaching Province to demolish it.”

Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut, the provincial police spokesperson, confirmed the illegal occupation of the building.

“Be advised that the illegal occupation of the building at the Bob Cox sports field in Pinelands is currently receiving our attention and due process is being followed. Arrests are effected from time to time.”

Traut said the situation is being monitored and the area is adequately policed.

Thamsanqa Mchunu, the spokesperson for the National Department of Public Works, says the property belongs to public works. He says there are plans to demolish the existing structure and to construct a new building for a “client department” to be used by the police.

Mchunu explains that the building formed part of the sporting facilities that were located on the site. “The sporting facility was no longer used by the client department and was already in very poor condition. Expenditure on a structure that was not going to be used would have been fruitless and wasteful.”