“We need refurbishment before we need maintenance,” were the words of Ward 29 Clr Haseena Ismail after doing an oversight at council-owned flats in Actonville.
Shadow MEC for human settlements Mervyn Cirota visited some of the council-owned flats with DA constituency head for Benoni Michele Clarke and Ismail on April 17.
“But in my opinion, they are robbing the poorest of the poor.”
Some of the flats which are suffering from lack of maintenance and refurbishment are Primrose, Azalea, Flora, Ajmery, Lahore and Aloe courts.
“There are pipes leaking, water scarcity, the balconies and staircases ares loose,” Ismail said.
Clarke added by saying that if maintenance and refurbishment are not tended to, in a space of two years, the flats may look like a hostel.
Clarke said the oversight is just a manner to put pressure on the department to assist those in need.
“The councillors were also recently told that the lifts would be fixed with the new budget,” Clarke said.
A resident and committee member at Primrose Court, Raymond Singh, said he has been living in the flat for about 15 years.
“I do believe that the cleanliness of the apartments’ interior is the responsibility of the residents,” he said.
He said the structural damage is not.
Clarke made mention of the life that was lost a few years ago in Karachi Court where a youngster leaned against the wall on the fifth floor and the wall gave way resulting in the youngster falling to his death.
The issue about market-related rentals also arose where some residents pay the economic rate of between R200 and R700 while others pay market-related rentals between R1 700 and R3 000.
Clarke said if market-related rentals apply to residents then structural damages should be a priority for council.
The City Times has asked the metro to comment on the condition of the flats.