News ยป Durban

Thabiso Goba
1 minute read
24 Apr 2021
06:04

Concern as Berea derelict house burns

Thabiso Goba

Berea residents are once again urging the eThekwini Municipality to decisively deal with the issue of derelict buildings after an abandoned house caught fire on The Berea on Thursday night.

Berea residents are once again urging the eThekwini Municipality to decisively deal with the issue of derelict buildings after an abandoned house caught fire on The Berea on Thursday night.

Close to midnight, residents were woken to a large flame that had engulfed the house at the corner of Problem Mkhize and Springfield roads. Enzo Coppola, who lives across the street said they feared the fire would spread to neighbouring houses. “I heard crackling and I thought it was gunshots,” he said.

Firefighters, helped by rain, were able to contain the blaze. However the fire has highlighted the issue of abandoned buildings within Berea.

“Some buildings are a result of deceased estates or the owners emigrated, and for us to act we have to do so within the ambit of the law. It’s a long and tedious process.”
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela

Coppola said the house was occupied by homeless people.

Save Our Berea (SOB), an activist organisation, has repeatedly written to the municipality and media houses regarding the hazard posed by the house in question. Cheryl Johnson of SOB said eThekwini municipality has failed to enforce its bylaws in relation to the property.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela said he was not aware of this particular incident but said the city is working at eradicating bad buildings. “Some buildings are a result of deceased estates or the owners emigrated, and for us to act we have to do so within the ambit of the law. It’s a long and tedious process,” Mayisela said.