Somerset West Property Raided

‘Problem’ property raided by police

ca p6 raid dun
Staff Writer
City of Cape Town law enforcement officers have raided and plan to legally attach a large “problem” property worth millions of rands – their first such raid in a residential area under a new city bylaw.
The property measures about 3 500m² and is situated in Somerset West. It features a large once-magnificent home with outbuildings and once-rolling lawns on the banks of the Lourens River, the most protected fresh water route in the province.
During a visit to the site yesterday, mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith and senior officers pointed out how the mansion had been stripped of windows, floorboards, staircases and all fittings, and had been used by vagrants. There was evidence of drug paraphernalia at the house during the inspection yesterday.
Local residents on the scene alleged that the house had been used by prostitutes, gangsters and homeless people.
Smith said the impact on the surrounding community had been “extremely negative, in many ways and many complaints had been received from residents”.
The address has not been made public, as the owner could not be reached to comment on the raid yesterday.
But Smith alleged that the owner, who has not been named, had spurned repeated offers by interested buyers to purchase the property as well as an offer by an old-age home to use it as a seniors’ facility.
Instead, Smith said, the owner had hoped to develop the property, had been declined permission and was now simply allowing the property to deteriorate – in contravention of the new “problem building” bylaw, probably with the hope of pressurising the surrounding residents into agreeing to his development application.
“This is a deplorable strategy by developers and slum lords that we have seen elsewhere in the city as well.”
Gavin Oliver, the City of Cape Town’s principal inspector for liquor enforcement and compliance, explained that the city would now attempt to have the property attached, under the new bylaw.
Furthermore, they would immediately begin boarding up the building’s 40 doors and windows, and post permanent security on the site, to prevent any further unlawful occupation and illegal activity.
Oliver said the city would also ensure it recouped all expenses incurred by these interventions, as permitted by the bylaw.
Smith said of the raid: “This is the first raid of a problem property in a residential area. Residents of Cape Town can be assured that our focus is not just derelict inner-city properties, but anywhere property owners are flouting the law… allowing properties to become dilapidated dens of iniquity.
“It is essential that communities are not only safe, but that we attend to quality of life issues as well.”

1 comment:

  1. However, in practice, the pace of development in real time today is deplorable. Is, this gap is the major 50% of the Chakan industrial area is already developed and occupied the left part of a very limited.

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