R500k needed for repairs as hall ‘stripped bit by bit’
The vandalised NU10 community hall in Mdantsane will cost Buffalo City Metro (BCM) up to R500,000 in repairs after the multi-purpose facility was stripped of its roof, copper piping and tiles.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya this week said the hall had been closed for more than six months due to the deteriorating state of the facility.
“Yes, we are aware of the current circumstances of the NU10 hall. We can confirm that the hall has been vandalised, and the unfortunate incident has not happened overnight, but over a long period, where they have stripped the hall bit by bit,” he said.
Ngwenya said they had now employed security guards
“Currently we have deployed four security guards. They are paired and split for day and night shifts.
“We will still have the security after the hall has been renovated, which is what the city is trying to facilitate. Plans to rehabilitate are underway, and we hope contractors will be on site by June,” Ngwenya said.
Late in 2018, Ngwenya told the Dispatch that the city was using 45 former military veterans, who patrol along the coastline, to temporarily monitor the halls that were being vandalised across the city.
“The damage costs are estimated to be over R200,000 and we have submitted to the insurance to pay for it.“However, the costs of damage caused can escalate up to an amount of R500,000,” he said.However, Ward 48 councillor Vuyiswa Mpanza disputed Ngwenya’s statements, saying she knew nothing about plans to renovate the hall.“As far as I know no plans have been put in place to rehabilitate the hall. If there are any, I do not know about them, nor am I aware of any security guards,” she said.Mpanza added: “Long before things were as they are now, I cautioned the city to get security for the halls, which are always left vulnerable. This was among the busiest halls in Mdantsane, with events happening all the time, but it was still targeted because of lack of security.”Mpanza said, according to her knowledge, military veterans had been patrolling at the nearby rent office, but nobody was guarding the community halls.“This vandalisation started in NU0, and I do believe it’s the same people who then went on to the halls in NU5 and Potsdam, halls which have recently come under attack,” she said.NU10 resident Phiwo Mlandeli said it was painful to watch their hall falling apart.“I refuse to believe that the people demolishing this hall are from our community because so many of our gatherings took place in that hall,” Mlandeli said...