City evaluates proposals for housing project

The Star Seaside Children's Home in Durban is one of the buildings which will be developed by the municipality.

THE poor condition of Star Seaside Children’s Home in North Beach has been called to question once again by residents living adjacent to the property who claim the building has been in a state of disrepair for a number of years and have appealed to council to be more transparent regarding the plans for its future.

The building, along with the former Table Tennis Association building in Epsom Road, Greyville, were earmarked for development in February 2016, but residents say they have not heard any more on the progress of this proposal. At the time, the announcement that the two dilapidated council-owned properties had been earmarked for social housing development was met with mixed reactions. While the city was being applauded for developing the two derelict properties, concerns were raised about the lack of consultation with neighbouring property owners.

The former Table Tennis Association building has been earmarked for development.

Responding to queries eThekwini Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa, said the two buildings are still earmarked for Human Settlements purposes and the tender process inviting proposals was currently at the evaluation stage. “The Supply Chain Management process (call-for proposals) has commenced for both buildings,” she said.

The two properties have been featured a number of times in the Berea Mail. Resident, Wayne Grundy described the Epson Road property as a “haven for vagrants and drug users.” He said the property was surrounded by filth.

Rookaya Vawda of North Beach raised the issue of the Star Seaside Children’s Home with Berea Mail on many occasions, calling for action by the city to clean up the grounds and utilise the vacant buildings.

Mthethwa said the conversion of the two properties for social housing would assist in providing much-needed residential opportunities for low income households giving them access to housing opportunities and socio-economic resources within the city. The proposed developments will consist of bachelor, one-bedroomed and two-bedroomed self-contained units. Mthethwa said the development would also prevent the properties from being invaded by vagrants or turned into nests for breeding crime and other illegal activities.

Lauren Walford

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