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House not safe to be repaired

The house of gogo Ntombokqala Bambiso was demolished on Friday by the Overstrand Municipality amid an outcry from several members of the community to have the house repaired.

Athough members of the community had wanted to have the roof repaired, the municipality decided, rather, to demolish the house because its structure was too weak to support a new roof.

According to Roderick Williams, Director of Community Services at the Overstrand Municipality, the building inspector had suggested another inspection, which found the building unsafe to be repaired.

Williams said the gogo’s house was irreparably damaged in a fire in December when her daughter and her boyfriend were living on the property.

Bambiso resided in the Eastern Cape at the time.

Williams said an insurance claim was considered, but it was decided to proceed to replace the roof. A requisition was approved to install the electricity and the Municipal Building section did the preparation work to replace the roof.

Meanwhile, Bambiso moved back to Hermanus and was residing with her son in a temporary relocation area (TRA).

According to Williams, Bambiso moved back into the house in the same week of the riots in Zwelihle. “The tense situation there made it difficult for the municipality to commence work on the property, as the municipality could not risk losing more equipment or endanger the lives of its employees,” he explained on Monday.

This, and the fact that the building was too unstable to be repaired, was causing delays.

Abagold then contacted the municipality with a proposal to assist.

According to Williams, Abagold had received numerous requests from the community to assist with repairs to the building.

He said the municipality greatly appreciated this gesture and a proposal was sent to the company on Friday.

“Abagold now has to decide how they can assist from their side,” said Williams. “The municipality will formalise this agreement and, jointly with Abagold, rebuild the housing unit. However, the public must understand that this is a process that takes time.”

He was saddened that photographs were posted on social media conveying the wrong message about the situation. “This is not a true reflection of what is currently being done about Mrs Bambiso’s home,” Williams said.

Gogo is currently back with her son in the TRA.

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