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Problem Buildings By-law raids expose more errant landlords
​The Problem Building By-law enforcement team has intensified
their blitz operations, targeting more buildings in the Durban
City Centre.

THE growing number of students looking for accommodation near their education institutions and the Durban Central Business District has seen a sharp increase in the number of unscrupulous landlords letting out rundown buildings.

To ensure that these landlords face the full might of the law, eThekwini Municipality’s problem buildings By-law enforcement team is intensifying their blitz operation. Speaking at an operation which was held on 15 February, Inner City eThekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme (iTrump) Senior Manager Hoosen Moolla said more residents are now reporting problem buildings By-law contraventions.

The team, made up of several Municipal units such as Metro Police, Electricity, Urban Management Zone, Fire and Emergency Services, Water and Sanitation, Auditing, Business Licensing and the South African Police Service raided more than eight buildings, served notices on illegal businesses and unscrupulous landlords. More than ten people were detained after they were found without the appropriate documentation required for them to live in the country.

Moolla said the team was working hard to curb the scourge. “We have court cases lined up where I will give evidence against building owners, and we have also seen more successes this year with four new building closures. We have also forced building owners to rehabilitate their buildings,” he said.

Moolla said it was unfortunate that landlords still preyed on young people looking for accommodation in the City. “We are following up on all reports of students living in squalor. This will not be tolerated in the City. We have cases where landlords are charging exorbitant amounts to students to live in inhumane conditions,” he said. Moolla said the City had to stay within the confines of the law when closing down a building. “However in the interim, notices are served, rates are raised and information is collected to building strong case against them,” he said.

Moolla encouraged residents to adhere to the Problem Building By-law. Residents can report any suspicious illegal activity to the South African Police Service and Metro Police using the 24-hour call centre number 031 361 0000.

princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za

WEATHER

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