Metro launches Rejuvenation Programme

MMC for economic development and spatial planning, Randall Williams; Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga and MMC for community safety, Derrick Kissundooth.

 

Decaying buildings will be dealt with, absentee landlords will be pursued and informal traders will be regulated.

These were a few of the initiatives the Tshwane Metro announced on Wednesday, as it launched the Inner City Rejuvenation Programme.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said there were many buildings in the inner city that had deteriorated over time to the extent that they were not fit for their original purpose.

Msimanga was joined at the press briefing by the MMC for community safety Derrick Kissundooth, and the MMC for economic development and spatial planning Randall Williams.

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Overcrowding, illegal businesses and criminal activities were some of the problems found in these buildings.

“We are sending a strong warning to absentee landlords to get their house in order and pay for services,” said Msimanga.

“We will also monitor buildings that are vulnerable to degeneration, and act against the owners.

“Every person deserves to live in a dignified environment and we call on landlords to be sensitive to this request.”

Msimanga urged residents who knew of or witnessed any illicit activity to contact the metro’s hotline number 012-358-4118 or send an e-mail to business-support@tshwane.gov.za.

“Absentee landlords would be pursued and warned about over-crowding,” said Kissundooth.

Metro staff and law-enforcement agencies will be employed to inspect buildings.

Landlords will be warned and if not compliant, will be prosecuted.

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Kissundooth said there would be an initial outreach period aimed at promoting awareness of bylaws, regulations and policy governing buildings.

If landlords did not comply, legal action would follow.

The metro is also launching a programme to monitor and register informal traders.

Williams said that the inner city was bearing the brunt of informal trading.

Traders were not distributed evenly across all seven sectors of Pretoria, he said.

Informal traders will all have to be licensed, and the licence will stipulate where they can trade and in what goods they can trade.

The metro planned to limit the number of trading licences.

“Currently the inner city has 570 demarcated areas for informal trading but we have so far counted 1 141 unlicensed informal traders competing for those spots,” Williams said.

“There are also 65 verified licensed traders.”

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At the same time, a helping hand is being extended to traders.

An initiative with the metro-owned fresh produce market will enable traders to purchase goods more cheaply, and to add value through processing and packaging.

Williams said informal traders would be consulted.

Committees are being formed and a voting system has been launched so that traders can choose representatives to liaise with the metro.

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Vivien van der Sandt

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