A Newlands resident wants the Department of Public Works to take responsibility for its property, Fernwood Manor House, which he says is in a sad state.
Bryan Jones approached the Tatler last month to try to determine who was responsible for the maintenance of the property and to see if anything could be done to remedy the situation.
Mr Jones said the state of the grounds was disgusting and said officials had to make it their business to find out who was responsible, what they intended to just do about it, and when they would impose proper and effective controls and systems to ensure it did not occur again.
But by last week the property remained riddled with litter. Mr Jones said it seemed an “attempt” had been made to cover the mess with grass cuttings.
“My wife and I just walked through the grounds of Fernwood Manor House again and almost inevitably the mess was just as bad; in fact it may be somewhat worse than the first time we saw it,” he said.
Mr Jones said there were three large rubbish skips among the debris, however, they appeared not to have been used as they were nearly empty.
“There is no sign of anyone working there to clean up this eyesore and likely health hazard. This state of affairs is a disgrace. It is not just an eyesore but a huge warming sign of the overall degeneration of standards that seem to permeate this country today and the apparent disinterest by the responsible authority in allowing this to happen to a building and its once attractive grounds,” he said.
Department of Public Works spokesman, Thami Mchunu, confirmed they were responsible for the maintenance of the property but said the use of the space was restricted to members of Parliament and members of the executive.
“The Fernwood parliamentary sports club is used for ministerial functions, departmental meetings and staff training. On occasion the facility is also utilised for the department’s end-of-year functions,” he said.
Mr Jones said if the department was not going to maintain its property, then they had to come up with proposals for a more meaningful use for this property.
“They need to be held publicly accountable for this deplorable state of affairs. And they need to be pressurised into making a firm commitment that the mess in the grounds be cleaned up and that there will be no repeat,” he said.