Kenilworth’s call to stop the wastage

TAURIQ HASSEN

Kenilworth residents are concerned about the property at 15 Tenant Road which is owned by the national Department of Public Works and is rarely used.

The City of Cape Town said they have been billing the state for the rates, electricity and water, with the accounts always being paid. Security guards are also posted at the house.

Kenilworth resident Kaitlyn Steunson said it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money” to allow the property to stand vacant and then employ people to look after it.

“They could do so much with a property like that, rather than allowing it to collect dust. We watch our president talking about wasteful expenditure and then down the road from where you live, there is a state-owned property completely contradicting everything he says,” Ms Steunson said, who also said the house’s “ghastly” appearance does not help the cause.

“They (Department of Public Works) are not even looking after the property,” she claimed.

Resident Lindon Swanson urged the public to put this “wasteful expenditure” in the spotlight.

“You can’t address the nation and talk about wasteful expenditure and wanting to cut down on it and then you have properties like this right under your nose.

“I would love to believe our president, but with every month that goes by, money is being wasted on this property and our president said he wanted to look at cutting down,” Mr Swanson said.

Director for media and stakeholder relations at the Department of Public Works, Thami Mchunu, said the property was previously used for accomodation for dignatories.

He said the residence has structural problems and the department has registered a project to upgrade the property.

He said the department received two complaints about the property, including about security and rodents, both of which were attended to.

Ms Mchunu said he did not believe the building was wasting any resources or money.

Ward councillor Ian Iversen said while the Department of Public Works did do “short term interventions” at the house, he believes the only real way forward is to sell the property.

“The ball is in the court of the state/government. They (residents) cannot understand why this ongoing matter hasn’t been resolved as the solution is so obvious. The property brings down the tone of the area plus it is just such a waste of taxpayers’ money which could be spent on education or health matters,” Mr Iversen said.